PLANS to covert a garage at the back of a property in Burnham-on-Sea's town centre into a home have been given the thumbs down by councillors after concerns were raised by residents.

The applicant, Mr Clarke, is seeking planning permission to convert the garage at the rear of 35 College Street into a two bedroom town house and a garage.

At a Burnham and Highbridge Town Council planning committee meeting on Wednesday (January 30) two residents spoke about the plans and said they have fears they will lose privacy if the development goes ahead.

Mrs Bacon, who lives at 35a College Street, said: "My property is at the back of 35A College Street and my concern is the height of the wall on the north elevation of the plan.

"This is my boundary wall and would be a maximum height of 17 ft rising to approximately 23ft.

"This would dominate my property, be overbearing and reduce the already small amount of light I have in my garden which is already a small space."

Another resident, Mrs Gordon, also spoke at the meeting and said she had concerns that the development will adversely affect the appearance of Shearn Lane and has fears parking will be an issue for residents.

She said: "The area of Shearn Lane where the development has been proposed has been relatively open and with lower level roofs for the best part of 50 years and recent development on the street seems to have respected this.

"But it is considered this would be to the general detriment of Shearn Lane and would mean properties to the front of it would be closely overlooked resulting in a loss of privacy.

"Also, the proposed parking arrangements are not practical and in the restricted area of Shearn Lane have the potential to cause significant inconvenience and ill feeling."

Burnham Methodist Church also lodged an objection to the proposal and said if approved the new town house will take natural light away from the windows to the vestry at the church.

Councillor Peter Clayton said he sympathised with the residents views and said he thinks it is an 'over-development' of the site. Councillor Martin Cox echoed Cllr Clayton's comments and said: "This would be an overdevelopment that would set a precedent when space is already at a minimum."

The committee voted unanimously to refuse the plans on the basis that it would affect residents' privacy and be an over-development of the site.

However, the final decision rests with Sedgemoor District Council.

For details or to comment on the application visit and type in reference 11/18/127.