'We think it's appropriate' - Solicitor hits back in row over plans at mansion

Higham Park artwork

A artwork of the completed new house at Higham Park by architect Francis Terry in the planning application from 2018. - Credit: Francis Terry/Babergh Council

A row has erupted in Constable Country after the owner of a mansion that is currently being extended applied for permission to build a new stable block.

The Dedham Vale Society has told Babergh District Council it objects to the proposal - voicing concerns there had been a series of applications for development at Higham Park, and even describing it as a 'Poundshop Versailles'.

Solicitor Charles Bisson bought the property a few years ago. The house was then called Drumlins and was built in 2003 to a design by locally-based architect Quinlan Terry, whose work is said to be popular with the Prince of Wales.

Three years ago Mr Bisson applied to extend the house with two wings that were designed by Mr Terry's son Francis. Planning permission for the extension was granted by Babergh. There were no objections from the public or other bodies.

Higham Hall valley

Higham Park overlooks a valley. Building work is now underway on the extension. - Credit: Google maps

Work to build the extension is now underway. 

However, when Mr Bisson applied for permission to build a stable block near the house last month, there were several objections, including one from the Dedham Vale Society which claimed he was "salami slicing" by regularly applying for extensions including building a swimming pool and a summer house.

Dedham Vale Society chairman Charles Clover said there was concern about how the property had been allowed to grow and the impact on the Dedham Vale, and said it had been described as a "Poundshop Versailles."

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Babergh councillors had approved the earlier applications and a spokeswoman for the council said it would be up to planners and councillors what happens to the new application.

Mr Bisson said all the changes to the house had been approved by planners - and there had been no objection to the extension from the Dedham Vale Society at the time of the application in 2018.

He said: "Higham is a very equine village. A lot of people have horses here and this is a stable for four horses. We think it is appropriate for the site and hope it gets approval - but we shall have to wait and see."

He did not want to comment on the description as a "Poundland Versailles" but said he was very pleased with the design and the work on the site that is currently being undertaken by local crafts people.

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