Homeowners have vented their fury as a humble bungalow was replaced with a “monstrous” new building which they likened to an Amazon warehouse.
Mark and Julie Mills allegedly bought a small bungalow in Corfe Mullen, Dorset, for £400,000 after the property’s elderly owner died last year.
The couple then applied for planning permission to build a modern four-bedroom house on the site on Corfe View Road. According to planning documents, the new house will be 5 meters high compared to the previous bungalow’s 3 meters high. It will have a flat roof, a balcony and full-height windows.
Several residents and the local city council opposed the development, arguing that the development would be too intrusive and incompatible with the area. But to the dismay of residents, planning chiefs at Dorset Council granted planning permission.
Now neighbors Terry and Margaret Selby, both 80, say they are faced with a “monstrous” investment every time they go out into their back garden and claim they have lost four hours of sunlight each day because their property a two-story house towered above it, as well as several other bungalows.
Homeowners vented their fury as their humble bungalow was replaced with a ‘monstrous’ new building they likened to an Amazon warehouse
Terry and Margaret Selby (pictured) say they are dealing with a development every time they go out into their back garden and say they lose four hours of sunlight each day because their property is looming over their property, as well as several other bungalows
According to planning documents, the new house (pictured during the construction process) will be 5 meters high compared to the previous bungalow’s 3 meters high. It will have a flat roof, a balcony and full-height windows
Mr Selby, a retired flooring contractor, slammed planning directors for planning permission and argued the building was more suitable as a playground for a nearby millionaire in Sandbanks.
“What was the Council thinking?” – he said. “There was a small bungalow just behind the hedge at the end of our garden and when the woman who lived there died, an application was made to build a new building.
“Now they have built it and it is monstrous, something you would expect on Sandbanks. This is terrible and I am frustrated with Dorset Council. I asked them why they allowed this, but they didn’t answer.
Selby claims the building has “caused a lot of stress” for him and his wife, saying it’s the only thing they see when they wake up every day.
‘It’s right in your face. We lose four hours of sunlight a day because there is so much sunlight that it blocks out the sun,” he explained.
“It’s just a square block made of wood, but I think they’ll put cladding on it soon. There seems to be a terrible mess in the planning department. How on earth could they let this happen?
He and his wife, Margaret, moved to the property on a residential cul-de-sac 15 years ago and planned to retire in their “forever home.”
“It was beautiful, we have wonderful neighbors, but what was built here is terrible,” Ms Selby said. “It looks like an Amazon warehouse.”
Selby claims the building has “caused a lot of stress” for him and his wife, claiming it’s the only thing they see when they wake up every day
City council members expressed concern that the new house would be a “visually incongruous building”, “resulting in a loss of natural light to neighboring properties” and “an overdevelopment out of scale with neighboring properties and surroundings in terms of its scale, volume, height and visual impact”.
Neighbor Kay Jones, a teacher, compared the building’s shape to the Bibby Stockholm, a controversial migrant barge in the nearby port of Portland.
She said she would have to plant trees and put up blinds to protect her privacy because her new neighbors would be able to see into her bedroom.
She said: “The new house looks like Bibby Stockholm’s barge. There will be a complete lack of privacy that I will now have to suffer from.
“I’m afraid I’ll have to spend an awful lot of money on blinds or trees to reduce the impact and feel like I’m living in a more private place.
Mrs Jones added: “I had sleepless nights where I would wake up and wonder how I was going to deal with this.”
Four letters of objection were received regarding the investment. Corfe Mullen Town Council and Wimborne Civic Association also opposed the plans.
City council members expressed concerns that the new house would be a “visually incongruous building”, “resulting in a loss of natural light to neighboring properties” and “an overdevelopment out of scale with neighboring properties and surroundings in terms of its scale, volume, height and visual impact”.
They also believed the planning application was “misleading and inadequate in terms of limited information”.
The Wimborne Civic Society opposed the application on the same grounds.
A spokesman for Dorset Council said the statutory 21-day consultation period for objections had been met. They said they took local concerns into account but granted planning permission in April because of the need for housing.
They said: “In light of the concerns expressed, the applicants have submitted amended plans which reduce the scale of the proposed extensions.
“Reconsultation on the revised plans was carried out following the posting of new notices on 2 November 2022 and further comments were received.
Selby (right) slammed planning directors for planning permission and argued the building was more suitable for the nearby millionaires’ playground at Sandbanks. Ms Selby (left) described the property as “terrible” and said: “It looks like an Amazon warehouse.”
“The application was considered under local and national planning principles, taking into account all relevant considerations raised by neighbors and the city council.
“The application process met all legislative and constitutional requirements. Officers assessed that the modified extensions could be placed on site and planning permission was granted on April 11, 2023.
“We have been in contact with Mr Selby to clarify the council’s position. The council will monitor compliance with approved plans.
Comments were sought from the Design Council, the planning agents who submitted the plans on behalf of Mark and Julie Mills.