Extensions to riverside home could still be built despite council veto

HOME: Cove Gardens in Worcester <i>(Image: Google Maps)</i>
HOME: Cove Gardens in Worcester (Image: Google Maps)

WORK to build a ‘wraparound’ extension refused by councillors for being a ‘blot on the landscape’ could still be allowed to go ahead.

Worcester City Council’s planning committee rejected a plan to build a number of extensions to a home in Cove Gardens in Worcester earlier this year saying the work was too big for the space and would cause parking issues.

Despite the rejection by councillors, an appeal has now been launched with the government’s planning inspectorate, which has the power to veto the council, in a bid to get the decision overturned.

The application, which was first put forward in March 2021, was debated by the planning committee at a meeting in January this year where some councillors had argued the extensions ‘considerably’ changed the footprint of the house and should be rejected.

At the time, Cllr Jo Hodges had disagreed with councillors saying the extensions would be a ‘blot on the conservation area.’

She pointed out the council’s conservation officers had said otherwise and were concerned the council would not be able to defend the decision if it was appealed.

Cllr Alan Amos had argued that it was the planning committee’s responsibility to make decisions if plans were put before them and most of the councillors were against the work.

“The officers might recommend approval, but our judgement might be something else,” he said at the meeting in the Guildhall in January.

“The conservation officer might make a decision or judgement, but our judgement may be something.”

Cllr Mel Allcott, who represents the Claines ward where the home sits and is also part of the planning committee, had called the application before the rest of the committee over her concerns that work had already started on the extensions before permission had been granted and over ‘significant’ local concern.

She also said the council had seen no issues with the size and design of the house as it ‘fit in with neighbouring homes’ which she said was clearly untrue.

“To me, right from the start, we have provided no reassurance. We haven’t looked at the setting and I’m just surprised that it was recommended to be approved.

“There’s heritage and conservation [issues],” she added. “And I think it’s totally inappropriate.”

The committee eventually voted to reject the plan by six votes to three with two abstentions.