A PLANNING expert who ‘hates’ his neighbours’ extension and wants to build a gym looking into next-doors’ garden as revenge has been stopped in his tracks for a second time.

Anthony Crean had applied for planning permission to build a summer house at the bottom of his garden, near the boundary wall with the home of his neighbour, Andrew Daly.

But he was shot down by Oxford City Council’s west area planning committee on Tuesday over concerns that the outbuilding’s windows would lead to a loss of privacy for his neighbour.

At the meeting, Mr Crean, a barrister who specialises in planning law, told the committee the application was his ‘last roll of the dice’ at building something his neighbour would hate as much as Mr Crean hates his neighbour’s extension.

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The plan was a slightly different version of a similar building Mr Crean had asked permission to build in November, but with slightly smaller windows looking over Mr Daly's garden.

That was refused unanimously on the grounds of light pollution and unacceptable loss of privacy through overlooking to his next-door neighbour.

Oxford Mail:

Location of the proposed gym highlighted in white. Picture: Google Maps.

Councillors on the committee had previously asked why the large gable-end windows could not be moved to the side of the planned gym which faced Mr Crean’s own garden.

Addressing the committee on Tuesday, Mr Crean lashed out: “It is no concern of yours why I wanted windows in this position.”

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He added: “You are not here to provide a grateful public with your largesse, you are here to apply the law.”

He then went on to describe his distaste for his neighbour's extension and said: “This application is my last desperate role of the dice in which I am trying to achieve an application he hates as much as I hate his.”

After Mr Crean made the admission, he swiftly picked up his rucksack and left the room, leaving councillors on the committee in a brief silence.

Oxford Mail:

The house on Charlbury Road. Picture: Google Maps.

Mr Crean is currently appealing against the council’s decision to turn down the first application, and if the council loses, it is liable to pay costs for the appeal process from the public purse.

Mr Daly of the neighbouring house at Charlbury Road, North Oxford, also spoke at the meeting.

He said: “The proposal being considered by you today has been positioned as a new application, but it is essentially the same as the one you refused in November 2019.

“The very large gable end remains included in this proposal and directly focuses on our back garden. The glass gable end will spill light into our living room and garden.”

Oxford Mail:

The house on Charlbury Road. Picture: Google Maps.

Councillors rejected the new application on the grounds that it would cause a loss of privacy to Mr Daly’s home.

A council officer reminded the committee that because the summerhouse in Mr Crean’s garden was quite small, he could potentially replace it with another building without seeking planning permission.

This is under an area of planning law called permitted development.

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Legal officer Sally Fleming said: “I just wanted to mention my understanding is that a small sized building could be put up within permitted development.

“We have to consider the fallback position of what [the applicant] could do without permission.”

Oxford Mail:

The house on Charlbury Road. Picture: Google Maps.

Mr Crean successfully applied to demolish an old house at his property and rebuild it as his current home in 2016.

This followed an earlier application in 2011 to do the same which was refused, appealed against, and then refused again.

For more information see planning application 19/03178/FUL at the Oxford City Council website.