By Anna Whittaker, Local Democracy Reporter
The increasing number of home extensions approved by planners in a leafy suburb on the edge of Nottingham has been branded “ridiculous” by locals.
Frustrated residents say West Bridgford risks being overdeveloped because Rushcliffe Borough Council is allowing more and more houses to be extended
Councillor Penny Gowland (LAB) told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that frustrated residents feel powerless as their neighbours are given permission to extend kitchens, build bedrooms and construct balconies.
“It’s bonkers!” she said.
“What’s going on may not visible from the front of these houses, but there are extensions that are 14ft high and halfway down the garden.
“I just can’t see how they are being passed. How are they not against planning regulations?
“It’s ridiculous they are being allowed – and they’re causing serious unhappiness. There are a lot of very cross people.
“Some extensions may be more efficient and green. But others are two storeys up. Some are enormous.
“They’re madness. They totally change your back garden and the neighbours are beside themselves.”
Earlier this month, the LDRS reported how planners had given the go-ahead for a two-storey extension that extended 16ft from the back of a house, despite objections from neighbours.
Houses on streets around Priory Road, Holme Road and Alford Road have seen a lot of building work in recent months as lockdown has been lifted.
One resident of Glenmore Road has sold her house after a huge extension was approved next door.
“It was the final straw for us,” she said. “We’ve sold up and we are moving away.
“The extension is less than two inches from our home and we can’t do anything about it. We objected- as did a lot of people did on the street. But it was passed.
“I am sympathetic to people who do extensions, but now you can do whatever you want. They’re allowing it all over West Bridgford.”
Another disgruntled West Bridgford resident feels the planning system is just a “tick box exercise”, after a two-storey extension was approved next door to his home on Alford Road.
He said: “We didn’t know the magnitude of the extension because it went through during lockdown.
“But it is five metres in length and it will mean we won’t get evening sun.
“We never said they couldn’t extend but we have an issue with the size and shape.
“We feel the council doesn’t scrutinise the applications and we think it was pushed through.
“It’s left a nasty tone around the neighbourhood.”
West Bridgford – with its tree-lined streets and Victorian houses – is widely regarded as one of the most sought-after places to live in the East Midlands.
But another frustrated resident said the local planning map “now looks like a rash of red”, showing the large number of extension applications recently approved.
He added: “People are getting away with crazy extensions – they’re just throwing money at where they live. It is very ill-thought out.
“Some streets are just a wall of brick.
“People shouldn’t overdevelop their homes, they should move up the property ladder. You can’t expand your house without affecting other people.
“I feel like the planning system is failing at the moment. One application had 11 objections and it still got through.
“West Bridgford is changing a lot. Before you know it, it will be a concrete jungle.”