A couple have been told they cannot build a two-bedroom house in a Herefordshire village as it would not be in keeping with neighbouring historic cottages – despite their plan getting official backing.
The design for the one-and-a-half-storey house in Putley Green near Ledbury would be clad in untreated vertical timber boarding under a zinc roof.
This was inspired by an old farm building nearby, according to the applicant, local resident Mrs F Fortnam, who added: “My husband and I have been Putley residents for 100 years between us.”
Herefordshire Council case officer Josh Bailey the design had been revised to meet earlier concerns and “now more reflects the existing development pattern, as well as (employing) a more appropriate vernacular language”.
Drainage concerns had also been addressed, the design complied with the neighbourhood development plan, the county local plan and national planning policy, and no ecological or highways concerns been raised, he added.
But local councillor Jonathan Lester, who leads the Conservative group on the council, said that having visited the site earlier this week, “I cannot support this application in any way.”
He explained: “Building a grey, utilitarian building between the listed cottages would not respect the existing relationship between them, or the historic character of the village.”
He added: “As the council can now demonstrate a five-year housing land supply, we no longer have to sacrifice our heritage assets or the amenity of neighbouring residents for the sake of a single house.”
Green councillor Jeremy Milln also opposed the revised plan, which he said still had “clunky fenestration” and “did not reflect the local vernacular”.
Independents for Herefordshire councillor William Wilding said he was not opposed to mixing new designs with old, but this should employ the best of the new, such as orientation suited to rooftop solar panels.
The application was refused by 10 votes to one, with three abstentions.