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Crystal House is listed at Grade II and occupies a prominent position at the centre of the of
West Haddon. It is also within the setting of a number of other listed buildings. This
application proposes works to enlarge/replace the 20thC extensions to the rear. By virtue of
the size, design and materials the works are considered to have a harmful impact on the
special interest of the listed building which are not outweighed by a public benefit – contrary
to national and local policy and guidance and accordingly this application is recommended for
PARISH COUNCIL –West Haddon Parish Council supports this application.
It believes the work will be very marginally visible from the street but that this will not have a
significant impact
NEIGHBOURS – No comments received for LBC application.
E-mail received for planning application (September 23rd 2012)
‘…understand that protecting our heritage and the look and feels of our villages is very important…
I feel that their (the owners) project is sympathetic to the original building and its fabric whilst also
reflecting the local vernacular in its materials and design…if we can maintain our historic
buildings by sympathetically altering them for our modern and future lives then that’s surely
preferable to the buildings becoming obsolete, derelict and lost forever.’
Planning Policies saved by Direction under Paragraph 1(3) of Schedule 8 to the Planning and
Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.
Daventry District Local Plan:
GN2 (E: general policy - type scale and design in keeping, development would not adversely affect
a conservation area or listed building)
East Midlands Regional Plan:
March 2009 (Re-instated November 2010)
Policy 26 – Sustainable development should ensure the protection, appropriate management and
enhancement of the Region’s natural and cultural heritage. (Damage to natural or historic assets or
their settings should be avoided wherever and as far as possible, recognising that such assets are
usually irreplaceable).
Policy 27 – The historic environment should be understood, conserved and enhanced, in recognition
of its own intrinsic value, and contribution to the Region’s quality of life.
National Planning Guidance:
National Planning Policy Framework (March 2012)
By virtue of paragraph 212 at Annex 1 of the NPPF, the policies in that document are a material
consideration when determining whether development should proceed.
Sustainable development is a central theme of the NPPF. The need to conserve heritage assets in a
manner appropriate to their significance, so they can be enjoyed for their contribution to the quality
of life of this and future generations is one of the core planning principles of the NPPF.
Account should always be taken of the desirability of sustaining and enhancing the significance of
heritage assets, and the desirability of new development making a positive contribution to the
historic environment’s local distinctiveness (paragraphs 126 and 131).
Paragraph 132 states:
‘When considering the impact of a proposed development on the significance of a designated
heritage asset, great weight should be given to the asset’s conservation. The more important the
asset, the greater the weight should be. Significance can be harmed or lost through alteration or
destruction of the heritage asset or development within its setting. As heritage assets are
irreplaceable, any harm or loss should require clear and convincing justification.’
Para 17 sets out 12 Core Principles which should underpin decision-making.
Point 10 requires:
‘the conservation heritage assets in a manner appropriate to their significance, so that they can be
enjoyed for their contribution to the quality of life of this and future generations’;
Paras 126 & 131 state:
‘Local Authorities should recognise that heritage assets are an irreplaceable resource and
conserve them in a manner appropriate to their significance’.
In doing this they should take into account:
‘ - The desirability of sustaining and enhancing the significance of heritage
- The desirability of new development making a positive contribution to local
character and distinctiveness…
- Opportunities to draw on the contribution made by the historic
environment to the character of a place…’
Para 134 advises where there will be harm to an asset this should be weighted against the public
benefits of the scheme.
Historic Environment Planning Practice Guide
Para 121 - New buildings should respect setting by virtue of scale, proportion, height, massing,
alignment and use of materials.
Para 178 – The main issues to consider in proposals for additions to heritage assets are: proportion,
height, massing, bulk, use of materials, relationships with adjacent assets, alignment and treatment
of setting. Replicating a particular style may be less important, but may be appropriate. New work
should not dominate the original asset
British Standard 7913:1998 – Guide to the Principles of the Conservation of Historic
Paras 7.4.3 & 7.4.4
Various – see history card on file - Relevant to this application:
DA/2007/0298 - Listed Building Consent to replace flat roof with pitched roof to bathroom and
formation of additional bathroom, replace flat roof with pitched roof to utility room and insert
rooflights to kitchen (REFUSED)
Crystal House is listed at Grade II and occupies a prominent position in the centre of West Haddon.
It is also within the setting of a number of other listed buildings – not least All Saints’ Church
(Grade I). As such this is a sensitive location, and due regard needs to be paid both to the impact of
any development on this house and the wider street scene.
The listed description notes this is a brick house with ashlar dressings and plinth under a slate roof
thought to have been built in the late-17thC. It has two-storeys with attics and cellars. The ground
floor was re-fronted in the late 18thC. The road front is characterised by formal sash windows and
the door, which is 20thC is to the right of centre. To the rear there are various 20thC extensions
which cover the right-hand side of the building. These have been added on piecemeal creating a
two-storey flat-roofed extension with single-storey lean-to to the rear and a single-storey flat-roofed
annexe to the left of these. Internally the main house has a single-room depth and the description
details the fielded panelling and fireplace surround in the room to the right of the entrance, and the
early 18thC dog-leg staircase.
This application proposes the replacement/enlarging of the existing extensions: the two storey
element, and the attached lean-to are, for the most part, retained, with the single-storey flat-roofed
part replaced with a longer ‘cloister-style’ duel-pitched extension which reaches the end of the
Most of the proposed development site is concealed from the street – but there would be views of
the side of the proposed new extension through the driveway between Crystal House and No. 5,
Station Road.
Existing Extensions.
The existing extensions do not make a particular contribution to the character and appearance of the
listed building, and some elements (e.g. the arched window) are especially out-of-keeping. There
would be scope for more minor alterations to improve their overall appearance. That said they are,
for the most part, honest, can be read as clearly distinct from the main building, and cannot be seen
from the street-scene. Any substantial increase in size, however, would compound the harm.
Proposed Scheme
By virtue of the size of this extension, and the combined effect with the existing annexes, the design
(including plan), and the use of materials – particularly the large areas of glass it is considered the
proposed development would have a harmful effect on the special interest of the building, but this
effect would be less than substantial having regard to Paragraph 132 of the Framework.
This scheme would not address the harm the existing extensions cause as the majority of these are
retained. The proposed works will extend the range to cover the whole of the rear of the building,
concealing both the plan-form, and a large area of the building. Both British Standard 7913 and the
Practice Guide state new work should not dominate historic.
The design of the proposed extension is not sympathetic to the appearance of the listed building.
Crystal House is typical of higher-status village buildings of this age in that it presents a formal
façade to the street, with a more subservient, but none-the-less domestic, rear. The main issues with
the proposed design of the extension are the large spaces created at the back (traditionally rooms
decrease in size going away from the street), the arched detailing, gable end and roof treatment.
The proposed ‘cloisters’ appear in the drawings as quite a formal modern feature. The agent has
advised, however, they are intended to reflect the carriage arches on the outbuilding to the rear.
However, this does not read well in the proposed design, and it is not considered appropriate to
introduce features from an ancillary structure on the principal (domestic) building.
The proposed ‘conservatory’ will create an uncharacteristically large space to the rear of the
building – compounded by the bi-folding doors to the veranda. These doors will also create atypical
large areas of glazing on this less formal rear elevation. A key part of this building’s character is the
large sash windows to the formal front façade which would be rivalled.
The design also uses a duel-pitch roof – presenting a gable-end incorporating a large glazed feature
to the street. The detailing of this elevation will draw undue attention from, and is not in-keeping
with the style and materials of, the host. The junction between the roof and the main house is
awkward and, were an extension acceptable, a lean-to roof would probably be more appropriate.
Officer Advice/Previous Proposals.
An application for works to the extensions has already been refused under app. DA/2007/0298. One
of the chief reasons for refusal was that increasing the size of the extensions would create a more
dominant, equally unattractive wing that would not preserve or enhance the character or setting of
the listed building. This application has not overcome that objection.
Pre-application was sought regarding an additional extension, and Officer’s advice was a scheme
along these lines would be unlikely to be supported. This application was also subject to a site
meeting and, prior to the listed building consent application being validated, concerns as detailed in
this report were expressed over the scheme to the planning case officer (ref. DA/2012/0377) and
fed-back to the applicant. No revisions to the scheme have been received in response to this advice.
Having regard to the advise in Paragraph 134 of the Framework, the application has not shown the
proposed extension is needed to keep the building in viable use. Crystal House is currently in
residential occupation and in good condition. It provides a generous amount of accommodation over
two floors with an attic and cellars and has benefited from a number of extensions to the rear. There
is also a large out-building on the site. Where a proposal causes less than substantial harm, this
should be weighed against any public benefit – however, in this instance any gain is to the current
owner only.
The application contends the extension would address the owner’s problems with the sitting room
being cold. However, the existing French windows to this room are in poor-repair and allow
draughts, and it has not been demonstrated other, less-intrusive, works would not address the
problem, or that such options have been seriously investigated, and why they have been discounted.
Therefore it is considered the scheme would harm the special interest of the building, contrary to
national policy and that this harm would not be outweighed by any public benefit. Accordingly
Members are respectfully urged to refuse this application.
That the proposed should be refused