AN “OVERBEARING” retirement homes plan has been refused by an authority amid claims it would inhibit the privacy of neighbouring properties.

Plans for 22 apartments in Beaconsfield Road, Farnham Common, were unanimously turned down by South Bucks District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday.

Planning officers had recommended it for approval, but councillors expressed their concern at the nature of the development on the former Phil Whitaker garage site, questioning the size of the buildings in relation to the size of the plot of land.

Farnham and Hedgerley Cllr David Anthony said: “There is a lot of positives about the application, we need retirement housing in the Farnhams and it is an excellent location in the centre of the village with nearby services.

“But it is a big building and it does impact on the neighbouring properties.”

Cllr Lin Hazell added that it could set a “dangerous precedent” if the plans were approved, and Cllr Santokh Chhokar said it was “intrusive”.

Cllr Chhokar added: “As a planning committee we have to look at the bigger picture and this development as it is presented to us in accordance with the guidance that we have got, specifically in relation to the bulk of it. Issues about over dominance and that it is intrusive therefore means that I think that I would not be prepared to approve this application and that we should reject it.”

Jerry Houdret, from neighbouring St John’s Church and Diocese, offered his objections. He said: “Our objection is well founded as it is overdevelopment in size, height and proximity of this overbearing, three-storey monolith.”

Developer McCarthy and Stone proposed the plans earlier this year, and consulted with residents in neighbouring Forge Drive last year, who expressed concern that their road would be tuned into a “parking bay” if the plans were approved, due to the fact that there would be 16 parking spaces provided as part of the development.

Letters of objection were received from 24 different addresses, and concerns were raised by Farnham Royal Parish Council as well as the City of London, which manages Burnham Beeches.

The development included eight one-bedroom and 14 two-bedroom apartments for the elderly across three distinct sections – a three-storey front section, a single-storey middle section and a further three-storey section at the rear.