2008: Appeal for new house thrown out

A planning inspector has thrown out an appeal for a new house to be built in the grounds of a listed former church in the hilltop hamlet of Kingston near Corfe Castle.

When the plan came before the council architect Barry Chapman told councillors: “The proposed new house is intended for my eldest son, Jody, who has lived all of his life in the village of Kingston, and his fiancée, who without this proposal would have no prospect of purchasing a property on Purbeck.”

Mr Chapman won permission for the church to be converted into a house some 30 years ago. He urged councillors to back the application to demonstrate wholehearted commitment to encouraging young people being able to get homes in their local communities.

Councillors went to see the site in June 2007 and then backed their planners with a refusal.

Appeal inspector Olivia Spencer says the former church sits slightly outside the main group of properties and forms a part of the conservation area with its own distinctive character.

The new architect-designed two-storey house would be below the level of the church and have little impact on the street scene. However it would be clearly seen from a footpath and from another view would be the only village building to be seen.

She thought: “The resulting apparent extension of development would disrupt its green setting and that of the church.”

A minimal number of trees were proposed to be removed to make way for the new house.

However the inspector thought the small windows proposed on its southern side would lead to a gloomy interior which could lead future residents to press for the removal of more trees.

Published in Bournemouth Daily Echo, Saturday 20 September 2008

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