Couple's plans to extend their village home near Southam are rejected despite support from villagers and councillors

Support from villagers, the parish council and a district councillor have failed to persuade fellow councillors to allow a couple to extend their house on the outskirts of Ufton.

Rob and Pam Wilkes recently converted a barn in Ridgeway Lane into their home, knocking down another part of the building due to its dilapidated state.

At the meeting of Stratford District Council’s planning committee on July 20, they had asked to build on the footings of the demolished part so that they could extend their property but councillors voted to throw out the plans saying that it would make the house too big.

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Support from villagers, the parish council and a district councillor have failed to persuade fellow councillors to allow a couple to extend their house on the outskirts of Ufton. Photo by National World

Mr Wilkes, who explained that his wife had lived in the village all her life and that his father-in-law had been at the neighbouring farm for more than 80 years, urged committee members to give their backing.

He said: “We are both country people who want to preserve the countryside and encourage wildlife. We have received lots of support from local residents, parish council and our ward member.”

Planning agent John Akers said planning officers were wrong in recommending refusal. He added: “The case for refusal is not that it would upset or prejudice neighbours – they accept that no neighbours would be harmed.

"They argue that the proposal would offend the building itself and yet it is Mr Wilkes who has rescued the building and restored it.

"Without his time, effort and perseverance, the barn simply wouldn’t be there.”

The chairman of Ufton Parish Council and the ward member for the area also spoke in support of the application which was also backed by a number of those on the planning committee.

But others were unconvinced with the scale of the extension which would more than double the footprint of the existing property.

Cllr Bill Fleming (Con, Bidford West and Salford) said: “I really like to see these old buildings preserved and they've really done a good job with phase one.

“I have no objection to them extending - it’s just this extension I have a problem with. They need to go away and have a look at it and come back with something else.”