IS it a 'shed' or a 'garden room'? Depends on your viewpoint.

Winchester civic chiefs are not too worried by what it is called; they don't like it and refused permission.

The shed to neighbours, a garden room to its owner, at a new upmarket development in Winchester, where some properties are valued at more than £1.5m, has been rejected by the city council planning committee.

Simon Carter built the shed/garden room in his garden at Ashburton Place, off Chilbolton Avenue, without getting planning permission. It sits close to neighbours' communal garden.

The retrospective application attracted 13 objections.

One, Dr Charles Knightley, told the planning committee: "Just about every resident has objected to this shed. It is over-bearing and domineering in what is already an over-developed area. When you see it in real life you can see how big it is.

"It does interfere with the communal gardens. There is a loss of privacy; the windows look straight onto the communal area. The design and materials are completely out of character.

"Planners have to look at rules and regulations but there are humans involved and this has a negative impact on their lives."

Mr Carter also addressed the committee and apologised for building the structure and upsetting his neighbours by its retrospective nature. He said he had not thought it needed planning permission as he was unaware that 'permitted development rights' had been removed from the Alfred Homes development. "It is a garden room not a shed. This time next year you will not be able to see it", as fast-growing Portuguese laurel would obscure it.

He said the structure was built on a patio. "What is the difference if I sit in a garden room or on the patio? I wish to be able to enjoy my property without interference and the garden room facilitates this."

But councillors disliked it. Cllr Brian Laming said: "It's obstructive viewed from many places."

Committee chairman Therese Evans said: "I cannot support this. The point of removing permitted development rights from Ashburton Place was to keep the symmetry to the buildings and now we have got in a corner what I consider to be a quite intrusive structure. It is very visible. It is in your face all the time. If there is a patio people go away but this room is still there."

Planning officer Marge Ballinger recommended approval but the committee disagreed and rejected it by three votes to five.

Only last month the same committee approved an extension at the neighbouring property, part of the same Ashburton Place development. That plan had a triangular infill and was opposed by several neighbours.