A HAMPSHIRE supermarket is at the centre of a row with residents after they claim it built a new petrol station 50cm too high.

Planning chiefs say that Sainsbury’s could even be told to demolish its new canopy because of the dispute in Bishop’s Waltham.

It is the latest controversy involving the company in the market town after its decision to open a new superstore upset local traders.

But now it is the nearby filling station that has sparked anger, and planners from Winchester City Council are negotiating with the company to solve the dispute.

They say an enforcement notice that eventually could see the structure on Winchester Road knocked down is one possibility.

The canopy was built 50cm taller than originally planned, and overshadows the gardens of neighbouring houses.

Its roof is covered in solar panels – the first, and so far only one, of its kind in the country.

Resident John Dennis, wife Heidi and their children Daisy, aged seven, and Aaron, nine, live close to the station.

He branded the canopy a “big white monstrosity” that can even be seen from inside his home.

The lighting within the station, which he says was installed without permission, causes additional problems, filling the house with ambient light – often until 11pm when the station closes.

Mr Dennis said: “The one thing I have supported is that it is solar powered.

We backed it because it was going to be a million per cent nicer than what was already there.

“I’m just disappointed. It’s an extremely frustrating situation when you have to stare at it all day, knowing they haven’t built it to regulations.”

It wasn’t until work had started that Mr Dennis noticed the canopy was significantly more visible than proposed, and he reported it.

“I have said it doesn’t make me enjoy the house any more,” he said.

Daily Echo: Mr John Dennis

Martin O’Neill, council spokesman, said removal was a possibility.

He added: “When a development does not meet the agreed terms of a planning permission there is a range of options from negotiation and agreement between those objecting to the development and the developer, appropriate mitigation, a retrospective revised planning application for the differences in the development, or – ultimately through planning enforcement – the developer being required to adapt, change or remove the aspects of the development that do not meet the planning permission.”

The supermarket has applied for retrospective planning permission.

A Sainsbury’s spokesman said in a statement: “We engaged with local residents and the council as part of the planning process for our new petrol station and are in ongoing dialogue with Mr Dennis to address his concerns.

“We have suggested a number of practical proposals and are committed to bringing the matter to a satisfactory conclusion for all parties.”