What needed to be saved
In February 2014, a developer began building new access routes for the development of houses 50 metres from the lodge ......
The same previous owner who had removed historic windows and replaced them with double glazing was now intent on demolishing historic farm buildings 50 metres from the Lodge. His first step was to demolish existing tracks and build a sweeping road across a field without planning permission (see photo below where a rounded track is shown coming into the farm buildings from between two ponds).
Lawyers were consulted and the issue was that none of the buildings except the Lodge were outlined in the listing of 1966. A building inherits the listing of another through being assessed as curtilage. For this to happen, the associated building must meet three criteria:
- Proximity: it must be near to the listed building
- Ancilliary: it must be a building used as an ancillary to the main listed building
- Common ownership: it must have been owned by the same people who owned the listed building at the time it was listed.
In order for the authorities to assess whether the buildings were curtilage or not, significant amount of information needed to be prepared. Michael Collins is a very well respected listed planning consultant and he prepared a hugely impressive report for this purpose.
These two reports were shown to two highly respected curtilage authorities Mr Richard Harwood QC and Mr Charles Mynors QC. They both agreed that the buildings were all curtilage to Letheringham Lodge.
In May 2014, an application called a CLOPUD (Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Use or Development) was submitted to Suffolk Coastal Council in order to obtain a legal decision as to what developments would be lawful. In order to decide this, we were effectively asking the Council to decide whether Lodge Farm was curtilage to Letheringham Lodge. In order to be able to ascertain this, a request to build 1.5 metre high fences around all the key buildings were submitted. If the buildings were not in listed curtilage to the Lodge, the Council would be able to grant the application. Therefore, by refusing the application in full, it would be confirming that all of Lodge Farm was curtilage to Letheringham Lodge.
It was with huge celebrations that on 18th July 2014, Suffolk Coastal Council ruled that Lodge Farm is curtilage to Letheringham Lodge.
The Council refused the entire CLOPUD, thereby ruling that all the buildings are 'within the listed curtilage' of Letheringham Lodge and the majority of the buildings were listed buildings in their own right.
In June 2015, Lodge Farm was acquired and is now in common ownership to the Lodge. Letheringham Lodge is restored to its former glory with ancillary buildings all protected under a Grade II* curtilage listing.
We have been surprised how many people have been interested in the process we undertook and if you would like to know more about how we used this to ascertain curtilage, please do not hesitate to contact us using the form within this website.