27th Oct, 2020

Bromsgrove Society's sorrow as planners approve demolition of two historic houses

Harry Leach 10th Sep, 2020 Updated: 11th Sep, 2020

MEMBERS of Bromsgrove Society have spoken of their bitter disappointment after town planners approved the demolition of historic properties on Birmingham Road.

The society objected to the bulldozing of numbers 163 and 165 due to the heritage and townscape of the area, the architectural style of both houses and the council’s High Quality Design policy to resist back land development.

Following the approval, five detached homes will be built on the site.

A society spokesperson expressed their sorrow at the majority vote and said: “We will continue to resist development at the expense of heritage assets in Bromsgrove and encourage the council to do likewise.”

At the planning meeting on Monday night, resident Sandra Jones said: “I am a neighbour of the two properties in this application.

“Numbers 163 and 165 have a historic link to Bromsgrove past and to replace them with modern homes would be detrimental to maintaining the heritage.”

Ms Wardman, who lives on Oakland Grove, told planners she was worried about the reduction of sunlight to her property.

“The planned kitchen extension raises a good two feet higher than the current boundary wall.

“It will have impact on our lives because, the little daylight we do see outside of work hours, is currently enjoyed in the garden along with our children.

“I am also concerned we will lose privacy as we currently have nothing but gardens to the south of our property and three of the new properties will be overlooking us.”

Coun Rod Laight also spoke against the proposal.

He pointed to the Conservation Officer’s conclusion in the report which said the scheme ‘would result in the total loss of the attributes which form the significance of the non-designated heritage assets’ and the harm arising from the total loss of the buildings attracted great weight in the planning balance.

“I therefore object to the principle of the demolition of 163 and 165 Birmingham Road,” added Coun Laight.

Gemma Jenkinson,  Director of Richmond Planning, acting as agent on behalf of the applicant, said the site was a ‘highly sustainable location’ because it is within the existing settlement boundary and is within close proximity to local shops and services.

She added that the proposal has been sensitively designed to blend in with the character and appearance of the neighbourhood.

“Numbers 163 and 165 are heritage assets of low significance.

“Number 163 has been significantly altered and does not represent the original dwelling, which takes away any merit.

“And 165 is not in a good state of repair. It’s removal and and replacement will be an enhancement to the street scene.”

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