Affluent residents of an upscale Dorset suburb are divided over plans to squeeze two luxury homes on 19-foot land occupied by a 1950s concrete garage.
A property developer paid more than £ 600,000 for the abandoned garage on the exclusive Sandbanks Peninsula in Poole Harbor earlier this year.
Now, residents have responded with mixed opinions on proposals for two three-story semi-detached homes that would each be 9 feet wide and 42 feet long.
The planned houses would each have a living room, kitchen and dining room, a double bedroom and a single bedroom, front and rear balconies and a rear garden.
But some neighbors are furious with the project, calling the twin houses “ridiculous over-development”.
Reverend Andrew O’Brien with members of his congregation, who opposed plans to build two three-story houses on 19-foot-wide land occupied by a garage (right)
Neighbor Andrew Shearer, who lives in the apartment building next door, said: “I am in favor of reusing an abandoned property, but turning a garage into two semi-detached properties is supercharged, on steroid planning.
“If I hadn’t seen the plans, I wouldn’t have believed it. It just seems crazy.
The local authority received 15 letters in support of the request and nine objections.
Poole resident Andy Raymond wrote: “The existing garage is unsightly. I really like the design of the proposed development, makes very good use of this currently unused plot. ‘
Keith Lewcock, Erlestoke, Wiltshire, added: “The development of this worn and dingy site into an interesting habitable building must be a welcome addition to the area.”
The single storey concrete garage (center) was built in 1957 and has been used by a local family to store their recreational equipment since the 1970s
Before and after: The existing site plan (left) with the garage located in the center; and (right) replaced by two three-story apartments. The Saint-Nicolas chapel is located just to the north and a neighboring building to the south
The property would be located next to two bungalows and the one-story Chapel of St. Nicholas, the only church on Millionaires Row.
They will also have parking for one car but as the driveway has limited space, a 15 foot diameter mechanical turntable will be installed at the front of the property to allow vehicles to turn.
But local vicar Reverend Andrew O’Brien is among those opposing land developer Peter Mullins’ planning request.
Reverend O’Brien said, “We’re not happy with that, it’s a ridiculous over-development. We have skylights in the roof of our little chapel and that will block that light.
“I know this is Sandbanks, where plots of land are being built all the time and the owners have spent a fortune on that plot, but it’s just a garage. A house that is not too tall is reasonable, but what is on offer is not.
“The congregation feels the same. “
Shane Armitage owns an apartment in a building next to the garage. He said, “I expect this site to be developed at some point, but this app is such a blatant disregard for my daylight and sunlight, it’s offensive.
“The height and proximity of the proposed building to our main windows would have such a negative impact on daylight and sunlight that they would put our apartment in the dark, even on a sunny day. We would lose sight of the sky from our main rooms.
Alison Sepping added, “This is an extreme example of land on development, producing two barely habitable homes that overlook and dominate the street scene.”
The concrete garage was built in 1957 and has been used by a local family to store their recreational equipment since the 1970s.
Sandbanks is often referred to as the UK version of Miami Beach, said to be the fourth most expensive place in the world to buy real estate. The arrow points to the location of the garage
Experts say each two-bedroom property will likely be used as a holiday home, but could be worth up to £ 1million each.
The garage is on Banks Road and close to Harry and Sandra Redknapp’s former home. The celebrity couple sold and left the peninsula last year.
In a design and access statement sent to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP), architect Colin Henry insisted the new homes would not impact light from neighboring properties and that dark glazing would be used for privacy.
Existing trees will also block much of the new building from street view.
Architect Colin Henry insisted that the new homes (circled in red) would not impact light from neighboring properties and that dark glazing would be used to maintain privacy
A map of the plans shows the location of the garage, which is proposed to be demolished in favor of two new houses
The statement added: “There is no impact on the front and rear windows of any of the three apartments as the development is located to the north of the apartments.
“The design of the proposals will positively contribute to the region … by mediating between the dominant 3.5-story apartment buildings on Banks Road and the one and two-story houses on the south side of Panorama Road.
“The building is designed to look like a single house on Banks Road. ”
Sandbanks is often referred to as the UK 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 Belgravia in London.
Its waterfront mansions sell for up to £ 10million, while holiday apartments that sit empty for most of the year are worth up to £ 4million.
For the same amount of money paid for the Sandbanks garage, the new owner could have bought a six-bedroom detached house in Leeds or an eight-bedroom house with a gite on the Isle of Mull in Scotland.