The Old Rectory, Cheshire East

Emery Planning has obtained planning permission and listed building consent for an extension to a Grade I listed building in Cheshire East.   The Old Rectory is a timber-framed building of medieval origin.   The appeal application proposed a semi-subterranean single storey extension to provide the house with a contemporary kitchen space.   Cheshire East Council refused planning permission on the basis that the extension would cause harm to the Grade I listed building and considered it would be at odds with the asset’s hierarchy of spaces. 

The Inspector found that the extension would represent an innovative response to the heritage constraints and that it would read as a non-intrusive new built phase to the property.   Notwithstanding this, he concluded that there would be some low-level, less than substantial harm to the high-value designated asset and it was therefore necessary to demonstrate that there are public benefits associated with the scheme.   

The property has been vacant since 2016 when personal circumstances and the house’s unsuitable configuration led to the appellant’s family vacating and the house being put on the market.    Despite serious interest,  the repeated reason for not proceeding with the purchase was the property’s failure to meet family living requirements owing to the absence of a kitchen commensurate with a dwelling of this size.  The Inspector was satisfied that the proposals would bring a large family home of high heritage significance back into active use that would highly likely remain vacant and disused for the foreseeable future without the interventions that are intended.

He concluded that:

All related matters considered, I find that the public benefits of the scheme attract considerable weight. In my judgement, in accordance with the relevant policy test contained within the Framework, the proposals’ public benefits would outweigh the less than substantial harm I have identified would be caused to the heritage significance of The Old Rectory. This is whilst acknowledging its Grade I status and that even less than substantial harm to a designated heritage asset carries considerable importance and weight.

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About Emery Planning

We are an independent town planning consultancy established in 2002. Based in Macclesfield, Cheshire, our work is primarily focused in the North West although we also operate in locations across the UK.

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