TWO controversial planning applications to build four homes at the back of Bridgnorth’s historic Bishop Percy’s House will be decided soon. An appeal by owner James Rowley against initial proposals to build a two-storey block after demolishing the former gymnasium, is to be heard at an informal inquiry at Westgate on February 4.
This first application was thrown out after the council’s conservation officer objected to them, as well as 17 neighbouring residents who said the proposed development would not be in keeping with the area and would look like “seaside accommodation.”
Meanwhile, district council planning officer Sara Jones said this week that fresh plans to build the homes by the grade two listed house in the town’s conservation area, are set to be decided by January 23, possibly by officers using delegated powers. She said that the council had received comments about the second application.
Former district councillor Dr Christopher Jephcott, who lives nearby in Cartway, has expressed his views on the second application in a letter to the Westgate authority.
“I am pleased that the application represents a more realistic approach to the redevelopment of this sensitive site, so important as an element in the view of the High Town from across the river,” he states.
“The retro-styled houses are more easily assimilated than the ultra-modern proposals previously put forward.
“These are very small houses and whilst the interior, with a spiral staircase, is interesting, it does mean that one of the two bedrooms has a curved wall, not entirely practical in such a limited spac
“As regards the exterior, it is true that many of the houses in the old town are now painted white over the brickwork, but quite recent photographs show the majority of houses in natural brick and painting over more brick facades is not encouraged.
“I therefore suggest that it would be preferable for both pairs of houses to be in natural local brick, though the distinction between the two styles could be maintained by using different colour bricks. In this way, the historical character of Bridgnorth would be better maintained.
“Finally, I don’t think that any objections were to the replacement of the unsightly, disused gymnasium building as such, as press reports seem to indicate.”