AN APPEAL has been made to the Secretary of State against Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s decision to refuse permission to build houses in a residential car park.

Quadron Investments applied last year to build six new homes on land in Halliday Close, Cranbourne, but the application was refused by the council after more than 40 residents objected.

Council officers had recommended it be approved, but nine members of the council’s Development Control Committee voted to reject the plans because of loss of amenity for existing residents and it being cramped, incongruous, and out of keeping with the character of the area.

Halliday Close is listed as number 46 out of 500 roads considered as a priority for parking needs by the council, and residents say the development would exacerbate these problems.

Ward councillor Ron Hussey, who objected to the proposals, said the land has been used for parking for 45 years.

However, there are fears that the council’s shortage of land supply for new houses could go in favour of the applicant at appeal.

As previously reported, the council is short of land supply for new homes over the next five years, meaning that policies relating to housing delivery are considered ‘out of date’.

This was given as the reason for officers recommending the application be approved, despite objections from urban design and landscape teams, who described it as “incongruous”, “cramped”, “overdeveloped” and contravening planning policies.

An appeal statement submitted to the Secretary of State by Quadron claims “there are no sound or clear-cut reasons for refusal of the planning permission”.

It adds: “The appeal proposal will provide six no. high quality new homes of an appropriate size and mix at a time when the council cannot demonstrate a five-year housing land supply.”

Following the refusal by the council, Quadron built a fence around the land to prevent residents from parking there.

Its appeal statement said: “The informal and ad hoc use of this private piece of land for car parking is not a protected amenity for neighbouring residents.”

Quadron claims residents have parked on the land “without express consent from the landowners”.

However, residents say a sign installed on the land stating it is for use as car parking by those who live in the neighbouring maisonettes was installed with agreement from Quadron.

The appeal will be decided by written representations, with a deadline given of May 31.