Casebook: Inspector orders removal of cement render at listed pub

Listed building consent has been denied for the retention of cement that had been applied to a listed pub in Gloucestershire after an inspector decided that it was inappropriate and harmed the building's character.

The late 17th century pub lay in a prominent position in a village. The main part of the building was built of local rubble stone with a rear brickwork annexe. The appellant had removed part of the original roughcast lime render and lime wash on one elevation and repointed it using a hard cement-rich mixture.

The inspector noted that vernacular buildings constructed from stone with poor weathering characteristics are traditionally protected by render or lime wash, with any dressed stone features left exposed. The indifferent quality of the exposed stonework suggested that the wall as originally built was not intended to be seen, he opined.

He decided that the cement mixture was historically inappropriate and would damage the wall over time because it would prevent the dispersal of water vapour through the interstices of the wall. The ledges created by protruding pointing would hold rainwater that would otherwise run down the wall, he decided. He feared that this would accelerate the progressive erosion of the stonework from salt crystallisation and frost damage.

DCS No: 100039098; Inspector: Richard Thomas; Written representations.

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