St John's Road Development planning refused

52 signatures were collected by local residents on a petition to object to retrospective planning permission for a house on St John's Road in Caversham which had been extended and was being used as a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO).  There were also complaints about a shed in the back garden which seemed to be being used as a separate dwelling.  Local resident Shirley Strickland gave a very compelling presentation about why the application should be refused, including such issues as a substantial change to the frontage of the house, parking issues because of the number of cars belonging to the 7 adults who live there, overflowing bins because of the number of residents in the house, resulting in rubbish being blown into the neighbour's garden and across the road.  Councillor Jane Stanford Beale robustly questioned the developer with regard to the outbuilding in the garden which she suggested had a kitchen which would be suitable for a 1 bedroom flat and with a gate giving side access to the garden she felt it would be entirely possible to use that building as a separate dwelling. She expressed her annoyance about the application and said that the developer had been very 'cheeky' in trying to suggest that a building with a kitchen, bedroom and ensuite bathroom was not a dwelling. Her concerns around overdevelopment were clear and she was very sympathetic to the neighbours who were living in a street of attractive Victorian family houses pointing out the difference between living next door to a family with 2 children and living next door to 7 adults who were all parking, cooking, watching their own televisions with all the noise and disturbance that that entails.  She also had concerns about rats from the overflowing bins. The application for retrospective planning permission was refused by committee.