2003: Family wins approval for manor house work

Well-known Purbeck family, the Scotts, have won permission for a series of alterations to an historic manor house they hope to make their family home. The former owners of Encombe House, which was sold for a reported £16 million, plan to set up home at Afflington Manor Farm between Corfe Castle and Swanage.

Proposals for a complex and wide-ranging package of alterations have been the subject of 18 months of negotiations with planning officers at Purbeck district council. The grade II listed former manor house was originally a 17th-century courtyard house – it was more recently used as accommodation for farm workers. Members of the planning board agreed to the removal of 19th-century partitions – provided they are surveyed and recorded – to make way for a “manorial chamber”. Permission was also given for a swimming pool, with the conversion of pigsties to boiler and changing rooms. Members of the planning board visited the site before making their decision on the cumulative effects of a wide-ranging series of proposed alterations.

Cllr Elizabeth Rudd said: “I think we are really lucky to have an applicant willing to spend the money and the will to do this. This building has been vacant for a month and there is already damp in it,” she added. “There have been lots of historical and archaeological reports and negotiations that have been going on.” Several councillors raised concerns about the building’s current three-storey staircase but it was not part of the set of proposals needing their decision. Cllr Julie Wheeldon said: “I was amazed how shambolic (the house) was and what a tremendous task it is for the people having to restore this.”

Daily Echo (Bournemouth), Tuesday 2 December 2003

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