Farmhouse repair options identified

The demolition of a listed farmhouse in south Wales has been rejected after an inspector found no convincing evidence that it could not be restored as part of a golf course proposal.

The background to the plan was the development of the 2010 Ryder Cup course around the building, the removal of a number of buildings associated with the farm and the construction of a new clubhouse. The local authority was concerned about the loss of one of a small surviving stock of period vernacular buildings typical of regional architecture dating from the first half of the 17th century.

Noting that the building had not been adequately protected from vandalism and theft, the inspector did not accept the appellants' case that its parlous condition and lack of features of architectural interest warranted its demolition. He considered that its repair and restoration would be a viable proposition, depending on the final use.

The appellants argued that the farmhouse could not have a residential or commercial use separate from the course. But the inspector was not satisfied that all possible alternative uses had been explored. In particular, he found no sign that the appellants had considered uses that would complement the golf course, such as holiday or staff accommodation.

He accepted that a prominently sited roofless ruin would be an eyesore at the centre of an international event. However, he judged that a restored building would look attractive and would not impede any activity on the course. He rejected the appellants' claim that the demolition of the listed building would bring benefits to the tournament or regeneration of the wider area.

DCS Number 100-050-458

Inspector Clive Cochrane; Hearing.


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