Avon Dassett couple appeal to Prime Minister and the Prince of Wales for help keeping conservatory

Martin and Lesley Kipling built their conservatory in 2018 and are now potentially facing having to take it down after their retrospective planning applications and appeals rejected

By Kirstie Smith, Reporter
Friday, 19th March 2021, 5:52 pm
Updated Friday, 19th March 2021, 6:06 pm

A couple from Avon Dassett have appealed to the Prime Minister and the Prince of Wales for help with keeping their conservatory.

Martin and Lesley Kipling built their conservatory in 2018 and are now potentially facing having to take it down after their retrospective planning applications and appeals rejected.

The couple were unaware when they started the process of getting a conservatory that they would need Listed Building Consent.

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Martin and Lesley Kipling inside their conservatory. Photo supplied

They said: "As we live in a small one and a half bedroom terrace/courtyard house with one room downstairs with a small gallery kitchen with no room for a dining table we watched a program with George Clark where a couple sold an old conservatory on eBay and thought that might work for us.

"We built it early 2018 after asking the council if it was okay and was told yes as it was only 10 ft by 8ft, at no point did the council say we needed Listed Building Consent or we would not have done it.

"It’s necessary to point out this is a temporary structure and was built as one. It’s never been intended to be permanent. In fact it’s only held in place by four wood screws into the mortar not the stone work.

"It had to be of the splayed design and included stained glass windows so that it complimented the entire property. It cannot be seen outside of our garden we have many letters that support this.

Martin and Lesley Kipling are now potentially facing having to take down their conservatory. Photo supplied

"It’s our dining room - we eat all our meals there. It’s allowed us to entertain friends and family. If it’s removed we will have to go back to eating off of lap trays.

"Two inspectors have seen it. One said we should keep it - his boss said no."

The application for the conservatory went back to Stratford District Council again on February 17 but was rejected by four votes to three.

The couple added: "We feel that our lives are being dictated too by people that haven’t even seen our house or the conservatory - would they eat their meals off a tray 24/7 - I don’t think so.

Martin and Lesley Kipling by their conservatory. Photo supplied

"We are both lifelong members of the National Trust so there’s no way we would damage our property.

"The inspector is saying that we are hurting the wall but we engaged a prominent expert in this field and he stated that the conservatory is not actually touching the wall and it’s not causing any harm."

After having their appeals and applications rejected the couple appealed to anyone who might be able to help - including the, MP Jeremy Wright, Prime Minister and The Prince of Wales.

They said: "We have emailed Boris though he is otherwise engaged at this time, Jeremy Wright MP who did reply, Robert Genrick MP housing minister who has not replied and the Prince of Wales who immediately sent a letter of support but stated he was not allowed to intervene.

"Our ward councillor John Fielding has been very supportive.

"We are going to keep going on with this until some form of common sense prevails

"If there’s anybody out there who can help us please get in touch either to advise on going forward or getting it out onto the social media platforms.

"We’re not very good with Facebook and Twitter, and we would like to start a petition to allow us to have it remain for the next eight years."

If anyone would like to help Martin and Lesley email: [email protected]

A spokesperson from Stratford District Council said: "The law is very clear that Listed Building Consent is required for any alterations to a Listed Building.

"Two retrospective applications have been made on this property and both have been refused, one being dismissed by the Secretary of State."