Bexley Council slam plans to build new home in the garden of listed 19th century house

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Bexley council has blasted “nonsense” plans to build a new home behind a listed 19th century house, saying it has the potential to “destroy” the area’s history.

It has refused the plans to build a new two-storey home in the back garden of the historic house in Bexleyheath.

The site on Woolwich Road, known as Orchard House, includes a two bedroom detached home, and reportedly dates back to the early to mid 19th century.

The property was Grade II listed in 1980 and is included on the National Heritage List for England.

Planning documents from Sean Payne Arch Design, on behalf of Maxx Join Ltd, show the plans sought to “improve” the listed building by removing the non-original back extension.

They also said the inside of the home would be refurbished, as well as adding another home in the garden of the property.

The topic was discussed at a planning meeting for Bexley Council on June 29.

Conservative Councillor June Slaughter said she felt building a new home so close to the current house would have a detrimental effect on the listed building.

The councillor said the extra dwelling would lead to a “cramped” setting and limited parking options on the site.

Cllr Slaughter said at the meeting: “I think there is a proposed condition to prevent the occupiers having a parking permit. I think to provide two properties like this without parking is a nonsense.”

Council officers said in response that those living at both properties would be denied on-street parking permits to limit stress on nearby roads.

Regarding the new home to be built, Conservative Councillor John Davey said he felt the space surrounding the listed building was too small for another property to be added.

Cllr Davey said at the meeting: “This is a relatively modest area, and anything you build there will detract from this Grade II listed building. And I don’t want to be seen by future generations as one of the philistines that have destroyed our history.”

The new home would reportedly have been as close as four and a half metres to the current listed building.

Planning officers said that the layout of rooms in the new building had been carefully designed to make sure there was no potential for overlooking between the two homes.

They said: “The buildings are cited such that there is a close relationship, but officers feel that’s acceptable and would be less than substantial harm given the site, the orientation and the separation between those two.”

At the meeting, the planning committee for Bexley Council voted to reject the plans in a 6-5 vote.

Reasons for refusal included the proposed house being too close to the current 19th century home, causing “substantial harm” to the setting of the historic building.


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