REVISED plans to partly demolish a 19th century gentry house on an at risk register will be discussed by councillors today.
Rydale Court Properties Ltd planned to turn the dilapidated, Grade II listed building Woodlands House off Woodlands Drive, Newport, into six flats and build seven houses within the grounds in 2012.
Councillors approved the plans but Newport council decided not to issue planning permission following concerns from heritage body Cadw and the local authority’s own historic buildings conservation officer.
Conservation group Save Britain’s Heritage had also threatened to take action by seeking a judicial review.
The proposals will be back on the table in the council chamber today though they have been significantly amended. It is still planned to partly demolish the building on the council’s at risk register and build seven properties around it.
But the council’s historic buildings conservation officer now believes the new proposals would result in “major enhancement” to the building. “It is clear that the majority of the original walls would be retained and that many rooms would retain their original proportions,” said the officer in a late submission.
“Most pleasingly, it is now proposed to retain the original grand entrance hallway and staircase and reunite these subdivided spaces so they will be seen as they were originally intended. Though there is still an absence of detail as to exactly what restoration work would be carried out, it seems clear that with the submission of appropriate detail, this scheme could now result in major enhancement to the historic character of the retained parts of the building.”
Newport planners have recommend the new plans be approved.
The planning report on Woodlands House states: “Whilst the conservation officer has some reservations about the scheme, it is noted that in the light of the further survey information, viability information and revisions to the plans, the conservation officer is much more supportive.”