House will ‘spoil a tourist village’

Hallaton
Hallaton

The chairman of Hallaton Parish Council this week accused district council planners of “spoiling one of the district’s tourist attractions”.

The comments from the parish council’s David James came after planners gave the go-ahead to a large new house right next door to the Grade 2 listed Bewicke Arms and visible from the Grade 2* listed Butter Cross.

“I can’t believe they did that. It’s completely out of character with the village” said Mr James.

“It’s a blot on the landscape in a conservation area. They’re spoiling one of the district’s tourist attractions.

“We were against it, but Harborough District Council doesn’t listen to a word that our parish council says.”

Mr James stressed that he wasn’t against a modest house on the site, but said the current plan was “overpowering”.

Hallaton residents at Tuesday night’s district council planning meeting also called the decision “a massive mistake”.

They say the approved house is too large and dominating for its sensitive site.

Ward councillor Michael Rickman told the meeting: “I have great concerns about the scale and height of this building in a conservation area. It will be very visible from the centre of the village.”

And the planning officer’s own assessment is that the new home would be “substantially larger than immediate neighbouring properties”.

But for the developer, Lance Wiggins said: “This application has been amended on a number of occasions because it’s in a sensitive location.

“We believe it’s in keeping with the character of this part of the village.”

And in the end a majority of the planning committee agreed with the officers’ conclusion that: “The proposal is satisfactorily in keeping with the character and appearance of the site”.