OUTLINE plans to build 10 semi-detached houses on two plots, comprising in Haslemere, have been condemned as a “dense garden grab of the worst kind”.

Urging the scheme be approved in its design and access statement, Castlemere Developments said the proposed two, three and four-bedroom homes at 7 Critchmere Lane and part of 22 Pitfold Avenue, would provide vital new housing to meet local need.

“The proposal represents an entirely acceptable form of development, making the best use of land inside the settlement whilst preserving the character and appearance of the area,” the document stated.

“The scale, layout, form and appearance of the proposal are considered to be entirely appropriate for this site and location, would provide satisfactory vehicular access and parking, and would safeguard the amenity and privacy of neighbouring residential occupiers. There are no technical objections to the development of the land.

“We consider the development accords with the development plan and therefore planning permission should be granted without delay.”

The scheme, which proposes the demolition of an existing property and a new access to the development from Critchmere Lane, is too small to require any affordable housing to be included.

Neighbouring residents have objected that the “long narrow site” means the new houses will be too close to adjoining properties and the new access will cause road safety problems as it is on a bend.

One Critchmere Vale resident wrote to Waverley Borough planners: “There has been no prior consultation with the owners of surrounding properties,”

“The developers and owners of the site have shown no interest in engaging with those who will be affected by this proposal.

“These proposed buildings, by reason of their size, and siting would represent an unwanted and overbearing form of development, an unacceptable loss of privacy and in many cases houses in the Vale would experience severe loss of light.

“The width of the site is simply too narrow to accommodate houses and driveways that meet the required standards and therefore the proposals for internal circulation within the site are unacceptable and will create conflicts between pedestrians, cyclists and vehicular movements thereby creating a safety hazard, let alone making it almost impossible for fire engines and ambulances to access in an emergency.

“The transportation note is inaccurate and misleading when it describes Critchmere Lane as “essentially a residential estate road, with an element of traffic calming and is relatively lightly trafficked in comparison to main thoroughfares in the area.

“On the contrary, it is often extremely busy and congested. It is a bus route and the only route for residents of the immediate and adjacent areas to get to and from Woolmer Hill School, The Edge leisure centre and the Busy Bees nursery.

“It is also a rat run for private and commercial vehicles wanting to get onto the A3. That is why it has traffic calming.

“Limited width means driveway parking will be impossible and a single visitor’s parking bay will inevitably result in overspill parking in Critchmere Lane, on a bend in the road, to the detriment of road safety. ”