Owners of 18th century mansion near Leamington launch appeal against decision to reject redevelopment plans

In 2017, The Hartog family bought the grade II listed Offa House in Offchurch to be used as their home but they have since had applications to completely renovate the 27-bedroom building turned down by Warwick District Council

A family have launched an appeal against the rejection of their latest plans to completely renovate the 18th century mansion near Leamington which they bought in 2017.

The Hartogs want to “demolish the existing ugly extensions” at the Grade II listed Offa House in Offchurch and replace these with two new properties.

After their initial plans for the 27-bedroom building were denied permission by Warwick District Council’s planning committee, the Hartog’s came back with an altered set of proposals in April but these were also rejected.

Offa House in Offchurch. Photograph provided by Louise Hartog.

At the time, Louise Hartog said: “The current plans are the result of addressing prior refusals for developing the house and grounds.

"A big step forwards for the conservation element has been that Historic England has no objections to the application on heritage grounds.

"This is strengthened by an independent site visit by the Georgian Group, which concluded 'considerable efforts had been made to arrive at a sympathetic scheme and had no objection in principle to these proposals'.

"Additionally, the local Conservation Advisory Forum recently concluded 'while it was agreed there were positives and negatives to the application, it was noted by some members that the new houses were of an attractive and well thought out design, located at the boundaries of the site thereby preserving optimum green space so, whilst there are issues, a good scheme may be passed over for a faultless scheme that may never come, at an overall detriment to the asset'.”

The existing extensions of Offa House in Offchurch which the Hartog family wants to demolish and replace with two new properties.

Louise said there is "overwhelming support" in Offchurch for Offa House to be "sympathetically restored".

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The Diocese of Coventry began looking for alternative uses for Offa House – once a Christian retreat – in 2013.

In 2015, planning permission was granted to turn it into a Syrian refugee centre but too much work was required to make it available in a suitable time frame.

An artist's impression of how the back of Offa House would look if the existing extensions are demolished. Image courtesy of Louise Hartog.

All representations to the current plans (W/21/2185) must be received by The Planning Inspectorate by Wednesday November 2.

Email [email protected], visit https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/ or post to Tina Gozra, The Planning Inspectorate, 3/E, Temple

Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6PN.