Council officers have rejected a couple’s plans to build an “eco-house” on land next to Stamford’s historic Freeman’s Meadow.
Roger and Christina Tallowin applied to South Kesteven District Council to build the home on land off Austin Friars Lane in Stamford.
The environmentally-friendly home would have featured a ground source heat pump, solar panels and “living walls” covered in plants.
But council planning officers decided the house would encroach on the open space of the meadow and refused to grant planning permission.
The officer’s report said the site formed part of an area that made “an important contribution to the character and appearance of the area and the overall setting of Stamford.”
It went on to say the proposal “would constitute an unwarranted encroachment onto an open space that makes an important contribution to the character and appearance of the area and the setting of the town, particularly when viewed from the south-west.”
A number of people living near the site raised concerns about the possible impact of the home. Some said it would set a precedent for development on and near the town meadows.
Council officers agreed with that concern. Their report said: “Development on the application site would represent the beginning of the harmful, incremental erosion of the open character of the town meadows, the grassy floodplain that serves the important visual function of providing an open, undeveloped foreground to the iconic view of historic Stamford from the south-west. Harm would be caused to the setting of the conservation area and its constituent heritage assets of high significance.”
The council previously rejected plans for a similar home on the site by different applicants. The applicants appealed but a planning inspector upheld the council’s decision in 2006. At the time the inspector said it was “impossible” to draw any visual distinction between the site and the meadows.
In their application the Tallowins said the home could deliver “something special, in terms of concept and design for historic Stamford that does not compromise important views and would in fact enhance this derelict site.”