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Villagers lose fight to save historic cottage from demolition

Plans to replace the cottage have yet to be submitted (file photo)
Plans to replace the cottage have yet to be submitted (file photo)

VILLAGERS have lost their fight against a decision to demolish a former blacksmith’s cottage in Sway.

The national park authority said there was no need for a formal application for permission to knock down the building in Station Road – despite local residents claiming too many historic buildings had been lost to make way for modern houses.

There were no details about what might replace the structure, which the planning submission described as being “in dilapidated condition”.

An NPA planning officer said that although the loss of the cottage “will clearly impact significantly upon the built heritage of Sway”, demolishing it did not breach policy and the owner did not need permission to do so.

A call had gone out on social media for villagers to unite against the proposal by Lymington-based Kenyon Homes to pull down the cottage.

Sway Parish Council was also against the building going saying: “The consensus was that the loss of an attractive, traditional cottage in the centre of the village, one which appears to be capable of refurbishment and extension to create a very pleasant family home, would be extremely regrettable.”

An earlier planning application to pull down the two-storey cottage and replace it with two houses was withdrawn before it went to the national park authority planning committee.

There were 11 letters of objection to the demolition submission, with many residents arguing it should be saved.

One resident wrote: “I cannot see any reason given as to why this house needs to be demolished. Since its historic connections to the village, being the old blacksmith’s cottage, it would be far better to renovate the existing house.”

Another said: “I object to this house being demolished purely for the financial gain of someone with no interest in the village, its history, or its people. It will add nothing and take away important village history."

Another said: “Our village is changing so much. It is so sad to see the heart of our village being removed a house at a time for yet more modern unnecessary developments.

“Why can’t this property be renovated? It has history with the village being the old blacksmith's cottage, why can’t it just be renovated than being demolished?”

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