Historic protection granted for gardens at The Wantage
by hannah smith
Warwick District Council’s executive approved adding the land at Castle Hill to the Local Register of Historic Parks and Gardens as well as to the local list within the Warwick District Local Plan.
Councillor John Hammon (Con, Cubbington), responsible for policy and development services at the district council, said he was delighted that the move received full support for the good of the grounds.
“I think this is a very special bit of garden and it is important that it is listed and protected,” he said.
“This move is an important contribution to out heritage in Kenilworth and we need to keep these things properly and look after them. From what I can see the whole area just needs a bit of loving care and attention and we hope that somebody in the future will come along and offer that to protect the building and secure its lasting future.”
He said the new status will ensure a level of protection at the grounds and could also mean features and walls within the garden will be eligible for the Grant Aid currently given to The Wantage.
The Grade II listed building has been the centre of controversy and upset in the town for years following disagreement about what should be done with the site.
Turlington (International) Ltd, which is a registered charity, purchased the building and the two plots of land associated with it (plots 10 and 12) with the support of one of its benefactors.
Of 12 bodies consulted on the plans to protect the gardens, the owner’s agent, Richard Free, was the only one to raise objection. He questioned the council’s motives for wanting the protective order and argued that the gardens have ‘no significance’ to be listed even locally, outside of the protection they already have as part of the main building.
There is currently an application in to build a new family home to the side of The Wantage - which has itself been standing empty for many years. The application has caused worry in the town with many fearing what will become of the building and who do not want to see the site divided up into flats.
But owners have assured any development will be in keeping with the grounds and for the good of the building.
The application is expected to go before the district council planning committee for discussion at their next meeting.
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Tuesday 18 June 2013
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