Plans to convert a thatched cottage in Andover into a supported living unit have been refused by the council.

Back in February, the Taylor family applied to convert Creepers Cottage into accommodation for up to six residents with learning disabilities. The move split neighbours, with some nearby in favour, while those on an adjacent road raised concerns over traffic and rights of way.

In the end, Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) did not refuse planning permission on these grounds, instead saying that the unit would “result in unacceptable risk of harmful noise to neighbouring properties”.

Plans were submitted on February 12 by Maddison Taylor and her father James, who applied to convert the house on Mead Hedges into a supported unit, with Maddison saying at the time that she “felt an urge to do more to support individuals and families in finding reliable and trustworthy accommodation and carers.”

They established a community interest company, controlled by Maddison, in order to achieve this aim.

Under the proposals, no internal or external changes will be made to the property, with the eight bedrooms to be used by six residents and two members of staff.

Andover Town Council did not object to the plans, as did nearby neighbour Rupert Griffiths, who said that his family ‘fully supported’ the plans.

However, residents on Clarendon Avenue nearby had raised concerns over the issue of parking and traffic using their road to access the unit.

The main objections to the proposal, however, came from environmental protection officers at TVBC, who raised concerns that the proposed use would cause “a conflict” between the unit and nearby neighbours, particularly an adjoining house.

Michael Thorne, senior environmental protection officer at TVBC, said: “The applicant has reiterated that control [of noise] would be exercised through careful selection of residents but there is no explanation as to how this decision is made or on what evidence is available to make such a decision.

“Whilst we accept that some residents will be unlikely to exhibit behaviour that is likely to lead to complaint, this is unlikely to be the case for all of the residents. It is also true that behaviour may change and so residents accepted on whatever criteria may overtime display behaviour more likely to impact on the amenity of neighbours and lead to complaint.

He added that soundproofing steps that had been proposed would reduce the noise, but that the reduction “will be limited” and would be difficult to enforce through planning conditions.

He therefore recommended the plans be refused.

This was accepted by TVBC, who refused the plans on the grounds of noise alone. The applicants may be able to resubmit the plans for the unit, but only in a significantly modified form from the rejected proposals.