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Hungerford: Planners reject Saudi prince's new build in AONB

Residents object 'to loss of privacy, traffic congestion and lack of consultation'

John Garvey

John Garvey


01635 886628

Planners reject Saudi prince's new build in AONB

A SAUDI prince’s bid to build a security lodge in the countryside has been rejected by planners.

The applicant, Prince Faisal bin Salman al Saud, wanted to build a one-bedroom property, North Lodge, to be occupied in connection with security at Denford Park Estate, near Hungerford.

The application included ancillary parking, turning, landscaping and a garden and would involve alterations to existing access arrangements, including a replacement boundary wall and gates.

While Kintbury Parish Council lodged no formal objection, Hungerford Town Council’s environment and planning committee did so, along with two local residents, stating: “The proposed building is out of character with surrounding buildings.

“It is in the AONB [Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty], is a stand-alone building and is a new build in the countryside.”

The residents said they objected to loss of privacy, traffic congestion and a perceived lack of consultation.

District councillors Dennis Benneyworth and Claire Rowles (both Con, Hungerford and Kintbury) had arranged for the application to be ‘called in’ to West Berkshire Council’s western area planning committee should it have been recommended for approval. In the event, however, that was not necessary.

A planning officer’s report stated: “It is considered that insufficient justification has been provided on security grounds to outweigh the clear and substantial conflict with the housing supply policies of the development plan... it appears that the current proposal fails to demonstrate that there are no other suitable alternative dwellings that could be made available to meet such need.”

It added: “It is considered that the proposed vernacular-style cottage with a thatched roof is not in line with the character of the architectural style of Denford Park Estate.

“The proposed lodge is not to be considered to be in line with character and local distinctiveness of the rural area and its setting within the wider landscape and clearly does not comply with [policies] which require development to be of a high quality and sustainable design and [to] have regard to settlement form, pattern and character.

“These concerns are considered sufficient to merit the refusal of this application.”

The application was duly refused. 

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