Plans for ‘unashamedly contemporary’ home rejected as council throws out three proposals for Milford site

victoria road milford
A CGI of plans for Victoria Road, Milford (picture: Visionary Architects)

A BID to build an “unashamedly contemporary” house on land at Milford has been thrown out at appeal.


The plan was one of three proposals put forward by Mr and Mrs S. Dench for land of Victoria Cottage, Victoria Road, which were each refused by New Forest District Council.

The rejections were all challenged but now planning inspector Martin Allen has ruled they would have a “discordant and incongruous appearance” harmful to the character and appearance of the area and street.

The first was for a two-storey “distinctive and contemporary, self-build, modern dwelling house”, which featured a distinctive raised-roof eave.

Designed by Visionary Architects, the plans said it was an “unashamedly contemporary design” and aimed to complement local new-build homes with a modern twist, such as the nearby Zinc House.

After it was turned down by NFDC, the couple put forward a second plan for a similar sized contemporary home but with a flat roof.

The refusal of that sparked a third, different proposal – to demolish the buildings on the site, sever the plot and construct two new self-build dwellings.

The first plan attracted 15 objections and the second and third prompted 10. The parish council recommended the first and third plans for approval, but objected to the second as “overdevelopment” of the site.

Deciding all three appeals at the same time, planning inspector Martin Allen said while there was a “considerable variety” in the design and scale of neighbouring homes, the key characteristic was “a sense and appearance of spaciousness”.

He said having a single, large home would result in there being “very little spacing to either side” and appear as “cramped additions” to the street.

Deciding the third appeal for two separate new builds, Mr Allen said the width of the plots would be “uncharacteristically narrow” for the location.



  1. I suggest that Weston Road and The Bolton’s, to name only two areas, have already diverged from the architect Ravenscroft vision for a traditional Milford design. “Unashamedly contemporary” homes have been built there for many years. Why not? How about the multi-story flats lining the cliff frontage? I recall the original traditional houses along the sea frontage from my youth in the 1960s.

  2. The B3058 cliff road is almost completely covered with “unashamedly contemporary” multi-story flats. The original Camden Hurst Hotel was demolished and an estate of flats built there. There is one Ravenscroft style house remaining on the B3058. Buyers want contemporary. They’ve got them.

  3. “discordant and incongruous appearance” – a planner’s OPINION should not determine the merits of a design. NFDC planners are not architects, designers nor particularly visually literate. Largely, they want a chocolate box version of our community to be built. This ends up with a monotonous, bland built environment. Look at Winchester for how modernity can be embraced.

    • @Mark – it’s not just their opinion, it’s set out in policy. All three schemes put forward for this site were not just refused by NFDC planners, they were also refused at appeal by the Planning Inspectorate. The main reason the appeals were dismissed was the spacing between buildings not according with the character of spacing in the neighbourhood. Two of the applications were trying to squeeze two additional dwellings onto the site, and the third application was for the demolition of the existing house and the creation of two new detached houses.

      It is important also not just to embrace ‘zany’ / eccentric and different design purely for the sake of being different. It rarely ages well. I’m not familiar with the scheme in question but going by the 3D image on this article it doesn’t present as high quality architecture, but somewhat gestural and clunky.

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