Plans approved to knock down house in Honiley and rebuild it after confusion at meeting

Confused councillors have supported plans to knock down a house and outbuildings in Honiley and rebuild it even though planning officers felt that the scheme was inappropriate in the green belt.

Honiley Estates applied for the work to be carried out at Keepers Cottage, Church Road, and the plans were supported by members of Beausale, Haseley, Honiley and Wroxall Parish Council.

There were also five letters of support from members of the public and ward member Cllr George Illingworth (Con, Kenilworth Abbey and Arden) commented: “Here we have an opportunity supported by the parish council and many locals to improve the quality of an existing house.

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“We are in the Honiley Estate on a private track 600 yards from the public road. The house we are looking at was built 100 years ago and is now needing some investment. More recently four other significant houses were built nearby. Rebuilding the old one would equate it with two neighbours.”

Confused councillors have supported plans to knock down a house and outbuildings in Honiley and rebuild it even though planning officers felt that the scheme was inappropriate in the green belt.

At this week’s planning committee of Warwick District Council, officers explained that the decision to recommend refusal of the plans was because they felt the new property was larger than the existing house and that meant it would harm the openness of the green belt.

But councillors were told that those calculations were based on not including an outbuilding some 13 metres away from the main building - when included there would actually be a 36 per cent reduction to the footprint.

Cllr Terry Morris (Con, Warwick Saltisford) said: “I’m a bit baffled why this is up for refusal. It comes down to whether the outbuilding is included or not. The application is for the demolition of the house and outbuildings. Therefore replacing what’s there at the moment with what’s proposed - which is more in line with the streetscene - brings me back to my comment of being confused.”

Jayne Cashmore, planning agent for the applicants, explained that the outbuilding in question was used for domestic purposes associated with Keepers Cottage and urged that it should be taken into account when doing the maths.

Cllr James Kennedy (Green, Kenilworth Park Hill) added: “It seems to me that we are getting a much more attractive house than what’s there at the moment.”

Other councillors agreed and the plans were approved by ten votes to one.