05:35PM, Thursday 18 February 2021
Plans for a luxurious house incorporating the ruins of a Victorian mansion destroyed by an explosion were unanimously approved on Wednesday, writes James Bagley, Local Democracy Reporter.
The two-storey contemporary family house will be built on St Leonard’s Hill, Windsor, and will incorporate the ruins of the colonnade of the 18th century ‘French Chateau’ mansion.
Not only will the ancient structures be part of the luxurious home it will also come with stables and a new ‘wild’ swimming pool.
To outweigh concerns about the development’s impact on the green belt, the applicant provided a ‘woodland management plan’, which provides details on how they will enhance, monitor, and maintain nearby veteran trees, landscape, and biodiversity for future generations.
Each tree has its own specific management plan with an annual health check.
This quashed the planning officers’ concerns and decided the scheme outweighs that harm and believe a ‘very special circumstance’ exists.
Panel members praised the plans for not only protecting the ruins – but for its sustainability and support in reaching zero carbon by adding in solar panels.
Councillor Amy Tisi (Lib Dem, Clewer East) said it was “rare” and “refreshing” to see an application as exciting to look at come before the planning panel.
She said: “I was really thrilled to see the sustainable design, the biodiversity, the use of the solar panels, and the net carbon zero target I think is just fantastic.
“We adopted our climate change strategy, and this is exactly the sort of thing we should be encouraging in the borough.”
She added: “Every generation has influenced and impacted on the site and I think the latest generation will have the contemporary look – but it’s woven in as you get that history still coming through from the site.”
Councillor David Hilton (Con, Ascot & Sunninghill) said he was ‘envious’ of the future occupiers, while councillor Leo Walters (Con, Bray) called it ‘the most easily approval application’ he’s seen in a long time.
The old mansion was built in the early 18th century and was largely destroyed by an explosion and fire sometime in the 1920s, resulting in large quantities of dressed and decorated blocks of stone strewn across the site. The well-liked application was greenlit by members of the Royal Borough development management panel on Wednesday.
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