Developed Cottage That Divided A Village To Be Demolished.
A long-running planning dispute, which divided a village community, has come to a head recently as the Court of Appeal ruled that a house on the edge of Blackheath, near Shamley Green – must be demolished.
Owners Craig and Gaynor Arnold’s development to their property left only a few walls of their ‘Arts and Crafts’-style cottage standing.
Other than a 1952 extension, the cottage remained largely as first built, that is until 2009, when the owners obtained planning consent for a very large house, under permitted development rules, that applied at the time.
Building work commenced but not in accordance with the permission granted and the re-build came to the attention of Guildford Borough Council’s enforcement officers.
Despite this, more and more of the original vernacular cottage leaving only a few walls of the original structure resulting in a building regarded as harmful to the character and appearance of the area.
Now a planning inspector has ruled that the original Blackheath Cottage no longer exists and the couple’s construction has resulted in a “new” house with “fundamental design flaws.”
He said it was a “fundamentally different design” to the original, complete with a “jarring” expanse of glazing, “odd truncated roofs” and a “slate finish” out of keeping with the area. Now The Court of Appeal has confirmed th Inspector’s decision saying the cottage must be demolished within nine months.
Although the house had “no harmful visual impact” and would not interfere with local views, it was “harmful by definition” to the green belt. It was “inappropriate development” in the green belt and there were no “very special” reasons why it should not be demolished.
The inspector said he had “some sympathy with the predicament Mr and Mrs Arnold find themselves in”, but added that it was “primarily of their own making”.
Meanwhile, several planning applications for a suitable replacement have been made and the latest, lodged in 2016, is of a more overall contemporary design, much reduced in height and bulk with a flat green ‘living’ roof.