A DEVELOPER who defied planners to carry out unauthorised work at a mansion near Winchester has had retrospective plans thrown out.

Councillors voted to marginally reject the plans for Abbots Worthy House, in Abbots Worthy, that would have given permission for changes to the previously approved extension.

Changes included the height of the extension, the positioning of the roof, the number of dormer windows and the materials used.

The city council’s planning committee heard the applicant, only referred to as K. Lakhpuri, had made 13 unauthorised changes to the planning permission.

According to a report by planning officer Sarah Tose that went before the committee, that resulted enforcement officers having to visit the site on three different occasion to resolve the breaches.

Former Conservative councillor Rose Burns, objecting, asked the committee: “What is the point of a planning application going through the process and conditions pit in place... if the applicant is going to do this and treat the planning process with contempt?”

Hampshire Chronicle:

Defending the plans, agent Tracy Payne said: “When the applicant bought the property it was significantly run down. The applicant has a strong desire to return it to its former glory.”

Debating whether they should approve the plans, Cllr Jane Rutter said: “This is only here as a retrospective application as enforcement had to be applied to the originally approved application. In terms of actual planning reasons to object, it is unfortunate there aren’t many.”

Councillors Brian Laming and David McLean disagreed. Cllr Laming said: “What we have here is something that doesn’t enhance the building whatsoever. I think the construction of the roof detracts from the building and isn’t in keeping with the area.”

Cllr McLean added: “I cannot see the balance in this. I can see an application to put right going ahead with building a building, ignoring the planning committee. It’s the principle of changing a design that we had given permission to without coming back to this council.”

Councillors voted by six votes to two to refuse the application, with one abstention.

As previously reported, the Victorian Abbots Worthy House went under the auctioneers’ hammer with a guide price of £1.5m-1.6 m in November 2016, with any buyer warned of costs of hundreds of thousands of pounds to bring it back to its former glory.

Donald Wright, valuer at Clive Emson, who auctioned the property, said prior to the sale in 2016: “Houses like this, with so much land and near to the well-heeled cathedral city of Winchester, rarely come on the market and we anticipate a lot of interest.

Hampshire Chronicle:

“There are nine bedrooms and features include a reception hall, drawing room, dining room, living room, billiard room, kitchen/family room, laundry room and office.

“The main house is Victorian with a Gothic wing and was remodelled in the 1950s to reflect the Georgian style that we see today. The house is now in need of refurbishment throughout – what you would call a doer-upper.

“Alternatively, the property and grounds may have future potential for development, such as apartments, or to create further dwellings, subject to all consents.”

Andrew Rome, of estate agent Knight Frank, added that the property could be worth £2.5-£3m if it had significant work done.