Plans for homes would damage setting of Erwarton Hall Gatehouse says Lord Deben

Erwarton Hall Gatehouse

A potential development next to the Erwarton Hall Gatehouse would be damaging according to Lord Deben - Credit: Google Maps

Plans to create seven homes next to one of Suffolk's most historic buildings would be damaging to the iconic setting, claims John Gummer, Lord Deben. 

The development of the farmyard next to Erwarton Hall Gatehouse would convert, repair, and extend existing agricultural buildings to form five homes, along with the demolition of the existing Dutch Barn and metal clad barn to build another two new homes.

Queen Anne Boleyn was a childhood visitor to the 16th century hall built by her uncle. 

The gatehouse had been largely unaltered since its completion and it is believed that it was built more as an ornament rather than for security.

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Lord Deben, John Gummer, believes Erwarton Hall Gatehouse is an iconic feature that would be harmed by this development - Credit: SU ANDERSON

John Gummer, Lord Deben, weighed in with his thoughts about how the potential development next to the rare gatehouse will severely impact the site.

He said: "I believe Erwarton Gatehouse to be an iconic part of Suffolk's heritage. It is nationally important as it is unique, well preserved, and of great architectural and historical importance.

"More than 40 years ago when I first came to Suffolk this was one of three images which summed up our local heritage - and the only one not in my then constituency!

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"As the secretary of state then charged with planning, this is precisely the rare kind of building that I would have wanted not only to preserve but to ensure that its setting was also protected.

"The proposed development of neighbouring farm buildings damages the setting of Erwarton Hall and particularly its Gatehouse.

Erwarton Hall Gatehouse

The site of the proposed development, on the left, is next door to Erwarton Hall Gatehouse - Credit: Google Maps

"These buildings are part of the historic development of the site and have a perfectly good agricultural and storage use. There is every reason to retain them as part of the setting and it would be really damaging to allow the development proposed even with the modest alterations now suggested.

"Babergh has a reputation of caring for its environment; nothing in its district is as iconic as Erwarton Hall Gatehouse; and I believe that future generations would rightly be astonished and appalled if this proposal was allowed to proceed."

A previous planning application was rejected for the site, but the date for a decision on the current application is unknown.

Consultants Boyer, on behalf of JRH Veenbaas and Co working with the Ingleton Group, said in a planning document: "Part of the proposal is to restore the dilapidated 19th century buildings to residential use with minimal removals or extensions to maintain the character of these buildings.

"The removal of the 20th century Dutch Barn which is visually intrusive will ensure that the buildings constructed in its place are consistent in form, scale and appearance with the historic order of the site.

"When viewed from outside of the application site, the development will maintain the farmstead
appearance."

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