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Affluent residents in an upmarket Dorset suburb are divided over plans to squeeze two luxury homes onto a 19ft plot occupied by a 1950s concrete garage.

A property developer paid over £600,000 for the derelict garage on the exclusive Sandbanks peninsula of Poole Harbour earlier this year.

Now, locals have reacted with mixed views at proposals for two three storey semi-detached houses that would each be 9ft wide and 42ft long. 

The planned homes would each have a living room, kitchen and dining room, one double and one single bedroom, front and rear balconies and a back garden.  

But some neighbours are furious at the scheme, calling the twin homes ‘ridiculous over-development’. 

Rev Andrew O'Brien with members of his congregation, who have opposed plans to build two three-storey homes on to a 19ft wide plot occupied by a garage (right)

Rev Andrew O'Brien with members of his congregation, who have opposed plans to build two three-storey homes on to a 19ft wide plot occupied by a garage (right)

Rev Andrew O’Brien with members of his congregation, who have opposed plans to build two three-storey homes on to a 19ft wide plot occupied by a garage (right)

Neighbour Andrew Shearer, who lives in the block of flats next door, said: ‘I am in favour of reusing derelict property but turning a garage into two semi-detached properties is turbo-charged, on steroids planning. 

‘If I hadn’t seen the plans I wouldn’t have believed it. It just seems crazy.’

The local authority has received 15 letters in support of the application and nine objections.

Poole resident Andy Raymond wrote: ‘The existing garage is unsightly. I really like the design of the proposed development, makes really good use of this currently unused plot.’

Keith Lewcock, of Erlestoke, Wiltshire, added: ‘The development of this weary and grubby site into an interesting liveable building must be a welcome addition to the area.’ 

The single-storey concrete garage (centre) was built in 1957 and has been used by a local family to store their leisure equipment since the 1970s

The single-storey concrete garage (centre) was built in 1957 and has been used by a local family to store their leisure equipment since the 1970s

The single-storey concrete garage (centre) was built in 1957 and has been used by a local family to store their leisure equipment since the 1970s

The existing site plan with the garage situated in the centre. The Chapel St Nicholas is located just to the north of the site and a neighbouring block of flats to the south
The proposed site plan with two new three-storey houses in the centre. The Chapel St Nicholas is located just to the north of the site and a neighbouring block of flats to the south
Slide me

Before and after: The existing site plan (left) with the garage situated in the centre; and (right) replaced by two three-storey flats. The Chapel of St Nicholas is located just to the north and a neighbouring block of flats to the south

The property would be situated next against two bungalows and the single-storey Chapel of St Nicholas, the only church on the ‘Millionaires’ Row’.

They will also have parking for one car but because the driveway has limited space, a mechanical turn-table 15ft in diameter will be installed at the front of the property to allow vehicles to turn.

But local vicar, Rev Andrew O’Brien, is among those objecting to the planning application from property developer Peter Mullins.

Rev O’Brien said: ‘We aren’t happy about this, it is ridiculous over-development. We have skylights in the roof of our little chapel and this will block that light.

‘I know this is Sandbanks, where plots of land are being built on all the time and that the owners have spent a fortune on this plot, but it is just a garage. One house that isn’t too tall is reasonable but what is being proposed is not.

‘The congregation feel the same.’

Shane Armitage owns a flat in a block next door to the garage. He said: ‘I expect that this site would be developed at some point, but this application is such a blatant disregard for my daylight and sunlight, its offensive.

‘The height and proximity of the proposed building to our principle windows, would have such a detrimental negative impact on daylight and sunlight, it would put our flat in the dark, even on a sunny day. We would lose sight of the sky from our principle rooms.’ 

Alison Sepping added: ‘This is an extreme example of plot over development, producing two barely habitable houses which would overlook and dominate the street scene.’

The concrete garage was built in 1957 and has been used by a local family to store their leisure equipment since the 1970s.

Sandbanks is often referred to as Britain's version of Miami Beach, it is said to be the fourth most expensive place in the world to buy real estate. The arrow points to the site of the garage

Sandbanks is often referred to as Britain's version of Miami Beach, it is said to be the fourth most expensive place in the world to buy real estate. The arrow points to the site of the garage

Sandbanks is often referred to as Britain’s version of Miami Beach, it is said to be the fourth most expensive place in the world to buy real estate. The arrow points to the site of the garage

Experts say that each two-bedroom property will likely be used as holiday homes, but could be worth up to £1m each.

The garage is on Banks Road and is close to the former home of Harry and Sandra Redknapp. The celebrity couple sold up and moved off the peninsula last year.

In a design and access statement sent to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council, architect Colin Henry insisted the new homes would not impact the light on neighbouring properties and obscure glazing will be used to maintain privacy.

Existing trees will also block much of the new building from the street view.

Architect Colin Henry insisted the new homes (ringed in red) would not impact the light on neighbouring properties and obscure glazing will be used to maintain privacy

Architect Colin Henry insisted the new homes (ringed in red) would not impact the light on neighbouring properties and obscure glazing will be used to maintain privacy

Architect Colin Henry insisted the new homes (ringed in red) would not impact the light on neighbouring properties and obscure glazing will be used to maintain privacy

A map of the plans shows the location of the garage, which is proposed to be demolished in favour of two new houses

A map of the plans shows the location of the garage, which is proposed to be demolished in favour of two new houses

A map of the plans shows the location of the garage, which is proposed to be demolished in favour of two new houses

The statement adds: ‘There is no impact on the front and rear windows of any of the three flats because the development is to the north of the flats.

‘The design of the proposals will contribute positively to the area… by mediating between the prevalent 3.5 storey tall blocks of flats on Banks Road and the one and two-storey houses on the south side of Panorama Road.

‘The building is designed to have the appearance of a single dwelling from Banks Road.’ 

Sandbanks is often referred to as Britain’s version of Miami Beach. It is said to be the fourth most expensive place in the world to buy real estate, behind Hong Kong, Tokyo and London’s Belgravia.

Its waterfront mansions sell for upwards of £10m while holiday apartments that lay empty for most of the year are worth up to £4m.

For the same amount of money paid for the Sandbanks garage, the new owner could have bought a six-bed detached house in Leeds or an eight bed house with a holiday cottage on the Isle of Mull in Scotland.

Source: Daily Mail

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