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Councillors oppose new home in garden of property in Mount Avenue, New Milton, over tree concerns

FEARS for a "much loved" and protected tree led district councillors to throw out a second bid to build on the garden of a New Milton property.

The proposal was to demolish the existing garage at 23 Mount Avenue and then subdivide the plot to build a three-bedroom home.

It was considered by the latest meeting of New Forest District Council’s planning committee, and followed a previously unsuccessful application and appeal by applicant Mr Leicester to develop the site.

NFDC planning officer Vivenne Baxter said the latest scheme had been reduced in size to lose a bedroom study and utility room so that it could be moved further away from a protected Monterey pine.

She added that tree officers had concluded the building work would not damage the roots of the prominent tree or another protected yew nearby.

But Cllr David Hawkins said New Milton Town Council strongly opposed the plans and felt that both trees would be under “significant pressure” for pruning due to their proximity to the new dwelling.

He added: “If we let all these extra bits of garden be taken over by houses we will look like London, Birmingham or Liverpool. We would no longer be New Milton or the New Forest.”

Planning agent Jessica Glover argued that many changes had been made to safeguard protected trees on the site.

She said: “In terms of pressure for pruning, the protected Monterey pine is 16 metres to the north-east of the dwelling and therefore would not create a harmful impact on natural light.

"Nevertheless the internal layout has been altered so the closest windows will be obscurely glazed and serve bathrooms.”

Cllr Maureen Holding added that although the new scheme was better, it was still “not good enough” and she was concerned by the loss of greenery.

Members of the planning committee rejected their officers' advice to grant permission and voted nine to five to refuse the application.

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