PLANS for 12 affordable homes in Churt – proposed by Waverley Borough Council (WBC) – have been criticised as “extremely disappointing” by a local architect.

Mark Westcott, of School Road in Rowledge, criticised the lack of opportunity for “attractive shared landscape” because of the site’s “over-cramped design”.

In the past, WDC has lauded examples of good design in the district – so for its own plans to be labelled ‘Noddy boxes’ is particularly disappointing.

Mr Westcott said: “This is unacceptable in terms of good architectural or landscape design, especially in such a setting and I consider its impact, as currently proposed, to be deleterious to the area.

“Regrettably, the houses appear to be rather poor ‘pattern book’ “Noddy boxes” and show no aspiration by the developer (WBC) to embrace any contemporary or good design, both of which are at the heart of the neighbourhood plan and national planing policy.”

But Mr Westcott did recognise potential hope for the site. He said: “I believe a less-dense scheme, and the incorporation of a central open area, together with a more contemporary approach to the general design of the houses, would and could be a great asset to the area.”

The site in Crossways Close in Churt is currently owned by the borough council and features four bungalows with gardens. Following the demolition, the council plans to build six two-bedroom houses, two three-bedroom houses, two two-bedroom flats and two one-bedroom flats, along with 21 allocated parking spaces and five visitor spaces, and would be “sustainable and energy efficient”.

A spokesperson for WBC said: “The council has only just validated this planning submission.

“As with all such applications, our officers will be visiting the site and assessing the proposals against the provisions of the development plan and all other material planning considerations, including comments we receive from statutory and non-statutory consultees and any representations we receive from third parties.

“At this early stage it would be inappropriate and unhelpful for the local planning authority to make any comment as to the acceptability, or otherwise, of the proposed development in planning terms.

“Mr Westcott’s views will be taken into consideration before any decision is made.”