Different decisions for similar Kingston schemes causes stir

ECE's plans for Coastal Road, Kingston, were approved but similar designs down the road were dismissed SUS-160128-151759001
ECE's plans for Coastal Road, Kingston, were approved but similar designs down the road were dismissed SUS-160128-151759001

COUNCILLORS dismissed plans for a ‘modern’ Kingston home only to approve similar proposals two doors down on Wednesday (January 27).

Coastal Road resident James Loughrey saw his designs, pictured right, rubbished as ‘dire’ and ‘out of keeping’ by Arun District Council’s development control committee.

Proposals for James Loughrey's Coastal Road property were rejected but similar neighbouring plans were approved. Picture by Haydn Jones Consultants SUS-160128-151126001

Proposals for James Loughrey's Coastal Road property were rejected but similar neighbouring plans were approved. Picture by Haydn Jones Consultants SUS-160128-151126001

But he was left stunned when the neighbouring application, pictured above, sailed through, despite attracting near identical objections from Kingston Parish Council.

“I found it quite bizarre,” said Mr Loughrey, who plans to appeal the decision.

The council first considered Mr Loughrey’s plans, which involved the demolition of his current home in favour of the more ‘modern, angular dwelling’.

Objections from the parish council included issues of overdevelopment, intrusion of privacy and a claim it would be ‘out of character’ with the street scene. Arun planners strongly argued there was a wide range of styles in Coastal Road and recommended approval.

Councillor Ricky Bower described it as ‘dire’, a ‘block’ and ‘less than inspiring’ – but councillor Jacqui Maconachie said there was no planning reason to refuse it, adding she would not defend the decision if it was appealed.

The plans were rejected by eight votes to six.

After a short adjournment, refusal reasons largely mirrored the parish council’s concerns, including suggestions it was ‘harmful to residential amenity’ and was ‘out of keeping’ in terms of materials used.

The committee then considered the second proposal, with chairman Stephen Haymes warning of the need for consistency, while treating both on their own merits.

The design was described as Art Deco and received a more sympathetic response.

Mr Bower said: “I have a lot of sympathy with the applicant in this one. I think style is good.” Councillor Barbara Oakley said it ‘would be a mistake’ to compare the two, describing the first as ‘aggressive’ in style and the latter ‘attractive’.

It was approved by 11 votes to one, with two abstentions.