Decision delayed on Stoke Bruerne home that councillor claims is 'out of kilter' with village

A decision has been delayed on a new home and swimming pool development that is facing opposition from a councillor, who claims it could spoil the setting of a Northamptonshire village church.

Friday, 4th January 2019, 2:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 2:30 pm
An artist's impression of how the new house in Stoke Bruerne would look

The scheme in Stoke Bruerne would see Woodcote House, in Church Lane, demolished and replaced with the two-storey home and separate pool and gym building.

Members of South Northamptonshire Council’s planning committee met on Thursday afternoon (January 3) in Towcester to discuss the application, which had been recommended for approval by planning officers.

But they have deferred the decision so that they can take a visit to the site in question, prompted by ward councillor Sandra Barnes.

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How the house currently looks

Councillor Barnes believes the proposed building is ‘out of kilter’ with the rest of the village and the grade II listed St. Mary’s Church. She told the committee it was the first time in her 20 years as a councillor that she had ‘called in’ a planning application.

But the applicant, owner Anthony Mallock, told councillors: "Historic England have no objections, the parish council have no objections and the neighbours are supportive of what we are doing.”

But despite a debate lasting an hour, councillors voted to take up the suggestion of a visit to the site, which was formerly known as Happylands.

The visit will be organised 'as soon as possible' so that a decision can be made at the next planning meeting, which is currently scheduled to take place at The Forum, in Towcester, on Thursday February 7. When they return, no further speakers will be allowed and councillors will merely vote on the application.

Councillor Barnes says the development doesn't fit in with the setting of the listed church