Planning inspector blocks bid for two homes at Wheatsheaf pub in New Milton
PLANS to build two "characterless" houses on part of the car park and garden of a New Milton pub have been thrown out by a planning inspector.
Applicant Cordage 23 Ltd had appealed after being refused permission by New Forest District Council for the pair of three-bedroom properties at the Wheatsheaf in Christchurch Road.
The proposal, within the Old Milton Green Conservation Area, had been opposed by the town council and some residents who said losing the outdoor space would hit fundraising events held there.
The Rev. Andrew Bailey, vicar at the Grade II listed St Mary Magdalene Church next door, also objected, saying it would harm both the pub and area's character, and could hinder the business's trade.
Now government inspector Hollie Nicholls has agreed with their concerns, concluding that the harm to the neighbourhood's heritage outweighed any economic and housing benefits of family-sized homes in a sustainable location.
Her report described the designs as "cramped" and that "the proposal would not be of a high quality as claimed and could not be said to be an enhancement of the ‘visually unappealing’ car park".
She added: "The loss of the connection between the church and the street scene on Christchurch Road to two imposingly-scaled but characterless dwellings would be to the detriment of the character and appearance of the area, the conservation area as a whole and to the setting of the listed church."
Cordage 23 Ltd had argued the plans comprised two "high quality dwellings" and the car park would still provide 15 spaces for customers.