Homeowner told to remove £4,000 gates outside country house as they're 'not rural enough'
David Holman has been ordered to take down the gates outside his barn conversion in Croesyceiliog, Monmouthshire, Wales,
A homeowner has been told to tear down the £4,000 gates outside his country house because they are "not rural enough".
Businessman David Holman, 53, installed the aluminium gates to replace the normal five-bar gate at his luxury barn conversion in Croesyceiliog, Monmouthshire, Wales, over security concerns.
But the local council ordered him to rip them down after neighbours complained, and planning officials have upheld the decision, saying the gates do not "reflect the rural character of the area".
The modern 6ft high gates have a "high quality" wood grain effect at the entrance to his barn conversion.
Holman, who moved to his Little Cider Mill Barn with his partner and their three dogs in 2019, told planners he installed the gates as a "knee jerk reaction" after he was confronted by a stranger outside his home in March 2021.
Holman said the man shouted: "You don't like people looking into your property do you?"
He said the stranger verbally abused him before he called police and was advised to increase security.
Holman said: "We were totally unaware that planning would be needed as the gates were within the boundary of our property.
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"The gates that we chose we thought would be the best fit and were able to be installed the fastest."
But Holman was given three months to remove the gates in June last year following the planning decision by Monmouthshire County Council.
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He then launched an appeal to Planning and Environment Decisions Wales, which has now been rejected by inspectors.
Planning inspector Janine Townsley said protecting the rural setting of the roadside was more important than Holman’s security measures.
The report said: “Matters such as neighbour disputes and references to the police do not fall to be considered by me as part of my assessment of the planning merits of the scheme before me.
“Whilst I have taken into account the appellant’s desire for additional security at his home, this consideration does not outweigh the harm caused to the character and appearance of the rural setting by the driveway gates which have been installed.”
Ms Townsley accepted the house had retained the appearance of a barn after its “sensitive conversion”.
She said: "I accept that the appellant has chosen high quality gates, however, the design of the gates are clearly domestic in style and their height and style does not reflect the rural character of the area.
"I appreciate that appeal site is in residential use, however the dwelling retains a barn-like appearance.
"The gates are adjacent to the highway at a point where they are in clear public view in a setting which is rural in character and they fail to respect the historical value of the appeal site by introducing a means of enclosure which conflicts visually with the setting."