CONTROVERSIAL plans to build three new homes in Windermere have been rejected by the council due to concerns over the proposed development’s ‘overbearing appearance’.

Planning officers for the Lake District National Park Authority have turned down proposals from applicant Watch This Space to construct three local occupancy houses in the car park of Windermere Business Centre.

A decision notice from the local authority states: “The proposed building as a result of its size, form, positioning of windows and proximity to neighbouring properties would lead to an unacceptable impact on residential amenity due to overlooking and its overbearing appearance.”

The notice also adds the proposals were refused due to the impact the development would have on parking in the area.

It says: “The proposal would result in the loss of six spaces from the existing parking provision for the business centre and would provide one fewer dedicated parking space for the proposed development than indicated by the Cumbria Design Guide.

"The shortfall in parking spaces is likely to result in the displacement of residents and visitors’ cars to nearby streets in an area which is known to have an on-street parking problem.”

Local occupancy houses are only available to people with an established connection to the area.

The plans received 27 letters of objection as well as a recommendation for refusal by Windermere and Bowness Town Council.

According to the planning officer’s report, the town council said: “The modern flat-roof design and choice of materials are unacceptable in this location within Windermere’s Conservation Area, being entirely out of keeping with the vernacular style of the immediate area and of Windermere as a whole.

“The proximity of the proposed dwellings to the existing semi-detached properties immediately to the south-west, Nos. 9 to 13 Park Avenue, would have an overbearing effect on their amenity and privacy.

“The proposed building would occupy the space currently used for parking by six or seven cars, thereby significantly increasing the inconvenience of cars parking in Oldfield Court and all of the surrounding streets.”

A planning statement submitted on behalf of the applicant points out the need for local occupancy housing in the area and states the two-bed dwellings are small-scale in nature and can be delivered quickly.

The statement says: “The proposed new residences will, therefore, diversify the demographic profile and introduce a smaller, lower-cost type of housing that will attract individuals and small families that will utilise local services and facilities and add vitality and vibrancy to the community.”

“The proposals will complement the office and residential accommodation found at the converted Windermere Works building, will address identified local housing need in a location that is well-related and in easy walking distance of the local amenities, shops and places of work in the Rural Service Centres of Windermere and Bowness”, the statement adds.

The Lake District National Park Authority refused the application on 27 October.