Plans for huge house in St Albans Green Belt quashed

PUBLISHED: 18:53 18 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:07 06 May 2010

A HUGE new house proposed for a Green Belt site has failed to win over a government inspector after it was rejected by St Albans planners. David Green, an inspector for the Department for Communities and Local Government, rejected an appeal to demolish a

A HUGE new house proposed for a Green Belt site has failed to win over a government inspector after it was rejected by St Albans planners.

David Green, an inspector for the Department for Communities and Local Government, rejected an appeal to demolish a bungalow in Sauncey Wood Lane in Harpenden and replace it with a house over 300 times the size.

The proposed new building, dubbed a Green Belt chateau by one concerned district councillor, would have included towers, a turret and 2.4 metre high chimneys.

Councillors on St Albans plans north committee took the view that it broke Green Belt planning rules, would harm the Green Belt and was completely out of character with the style of neighbouring houses.

Their view about the proposed new house on the site of the existing Whitepightle Wood was backed up by Mr Green who did not accept the view of the owners that the new building would of such high quality design and with carbon-neutral status that it should be given special consideration.

He felt that neither compensated for the harm which would be done to the Green Belt and disagreed with the applicants that a Dutch Barn 25 metres from the house should be counted as part of the floor space of the original bungalow.

He pointed out that the existing bungalow and outbuildings were relatively unobtrusive but the replacement house would be a far more prominent feature.

District councillor for Wheathampstead, Cllr Judy Shardlow, described the plans for the house as, "truly shocking."

She said they would mean replacing a good-sized single-storey bungalow on a prominent location in the Green Belt with what could only be described as a French Chateau.

Cllr Shardlow added: "This is a lovely site which has great potential for a well-designed replacement home appropriate to its Green Belt surroundings. Sadly this is not it.

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