Neighbour accused of 'Oscar performance' in furious local planning row

​The council has ruled in favour of the propoals

The council has ruled in favour of the propoals

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George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 04/03/2024

- 17:02

The was backlash to the proposals at the property in Winkfield, Berkshire

A care home worker has been accused of putting in an "Oscar performance" over a planning row.

The row revolves around proposals to build a "dream home" on land at the bottom of two gardens.

An application was put in by Geraldine Parke to build a three-bedroom house with parking. She already had planning permission to build a single storey house on the land.

However, she then asked Bracknell Forest Council if she could change the plans to make the property bigger and add a chimney.

The proposals for the property

The proposals for the property

Bracknell Forest Council

Neighbours then hit back at the proposals at the property on Mushroom Castle Lane in Winkfield, Berkshire.

Parke told councillors at Bracknell Forest Council: "I have been around personally to see the neighbours and I am probably the best neighbour they could ever have. I have served the community as a key worker and I feel that I now have done everything within the recommendations to move forwards with this self-build.

"I have compromised my wish for my dream house by adhering to the officer's advice and reducing the scheme and the development. I have consulted all the way through this application and it has been quite taxing mentally when I was already exhausted from supporting us through the pandemic.

"I believe I meet the criteria that the government sets as well for key workers in the community and supporting people to self-build. I just have to trust the process now."


\u200bMushroom Castle in Winkfield, Berkshire

The property is located on Mushroom Castle in Winkfield, Berkshire

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Local resident Amanda Pottow hit back against the decision, saying she was putting in an Oscar-worthy performance.

The 60-year-old said: "It is literally at the bottom of somebody's garden. There is no access, because this is a private lane. I never thought that would be approved in a million years. I know they do lots of infields, but that's not even really an infield. Most infields have access from the main road.

"The applicant, she did an Oscar performance about how she was an NHS worker and using her life-savings. We are at a planning meeting, not the Oscars."

Meanwhile, another nearby neighbour, Lisa Weaver added: "I still cannot understand how they all said they were against it and yet they approved it. Something is wrong there. We have lived here for 25 years, there used to be 11 of us and now there are 17 - when I first moved into this lane, we were a tiny little lane, very friendly.

Reacting to Parke's speech, she said: "There are four people who work for the NHS down this lane, she is not unusual."

Councillor Patrick Smith said he found such infill developments "rather unpalatable."

However, Bracknell Forest Council committee approved the application.

Chair of the committee Councillor Tricia Brown said: "I think there are lots of positives here. I do not feel there is anything that we can refuse. I think it has complied with all the planning rules, local and national."

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