Leeds shop denied extension over fears neighbours' rooms would be 'unusable'
A corner shop has been denied an extension after its nextdoor neighbour argued it would leave multiple rooms of their own house "unusable".
Sarah Morgan-Paul, from Meanwood, said that Stainbeck Stores' plans to expand its property on Stainbeck Lane would cause her "harm and distress".
Managers of the store, which is run under the Best One franchise, said the extension was necessary so they could accommodate a growing family in the upstairs apartment, and give a disabled shop employee extra hours with more ground floor space to work.
But councillors backed Ms Morgan-Paul's objections, after concluding it would overshadow her property.
Speaking at a plans panel on Thursday, she said: "This would be completely over-dominant.
"It would render parts of our home unusable, even during the summer, as well as impacting on us financially."
Expanding on this point further, she later added: "The loss of light in some of the rooms would mean that we'd need lights on permanently where we don't currently.
"That would be an increase to our electricity bill.
"Because of the obliteration of daylight, it's not unreasonable to assume this would cause damage to our garden, leaving plants unable to thrive."
She added that she was not opposed to a smaller extension to the shop, as long as it did not impact on her property.
Speaking for the application, Stainbeck's representative Ms Sandhu, said: "We've been a family business since the 1980s, serving the local community.
"We need to expand our range of goods and services so that we can remain viable and competitive."
"We have a disabled employee, and if we had a stock room on the ground floor it would increase the number of hours of work we're able to give her. At the moment we're only able to offer her two hours a week."
Ms Sandhu said that an upstairs extension was necessary to help accommodate one member of the family, who will be returning home after finishing university next year.
But the panel agreed with Leeds City Council officers' conclusion that the development would be too overbearing for the shop's neighbour.
Councillor Liz Nash said: "I think we're all sympathetic to the applicant, but we do have to be mindful of our neighbours.
"We can't favour one neighbour over another.
"On the site visit this morning I noticed that the back garden was really very small. A side extension like that really would be unacceptable."
Local Democracy Reporting Service