Replacement home not good enough says council

6 Hill Row Haddenham planning dispute

6 Hill Row, Haddenham, which East Cambs Council refused to be allowed to be demolished and replaced - Credit: ECDC

A council refused to allow replacement of a dilapidated early 20th century cottage after developers got a stinging rebuke from a conservation officer.  

Chris Patrick said the house at 6 Hill Row, Haddenham makes a “positive contribution to the character of the conservation area”. 

A replacement would need to be “of a particularly high standard of design and materials in order to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the area”.  

The proposal put forward didn’t meet his expectations. 

East Cambs Council agreed and refused permission.  

Mr Patrick said buildings in such areas should only be demolished where there are structurally unsound (for reasons other than deliberate damage or neglect), beyond reasonable repair. 

And where “measures to sustain the existing use or find an alternative use/user have been exhausted”. 

Most Read

Mr Patrick said demolition would require proof the building has little or no architectural, historic or visual significance or would have a negative impact. 

He accused the applicant of not providing sufficient conservation area appraisal information.  

“No information has been provided about the significance (or condition) of the existing building,” he said. 

“The submitted statement is worthless.” 

He also claimed the replacement was “not of sufficient quality” to meet policy expectations.  

"Although No 6 is a modest cottage, it is an unusually late example of the persistence of the area’s building traditions,” said Mr Patrick. 

“It has heritage values centred around its authenticity and continuity.  

“There is little public benefit in exchanging a building which embodies those qualities for an inferior facsimile which does not.” 

Planners felt design of the new home would fail to preserve or enhance the character of the area.  

The proposed new home represented a scheme “of significantly lower architectural quality than the existing dwelling they seek to replace.  

Greg Saberton Design, who drew up the plans on behalf of the applicant, says 6 Hill Row has “fallen to complete disrepair visually as well as structurally, therefore deeming the property uneconomical to renovate”.  

He said: “The intention instead is to replace the dwelling entirely using modern construction, materials and building regulations, whilst preserving the site’s character and being sympathetic to the original dwelling’s form and location setting.”