DC Casebook: Listed Buildings - Thatch choice criticised at listed cottage

An inspector has upheld an enforcement notice barring combed wheat reed thatch on a listed Wiltshire cottage after agreeing that it compromises its architectural and historic interest.

The gate lodge in the cottage orne style probably dated from the 19th century. There was no dispute that it had long straw thatch when listed in 1972. The council's conservation guidance note sought to maintain traditional, locally distinctive thatching techniques. During the 1960s, before vernacular buildings received statutory protection, the number of long straw roofs had declined as the combed wheat style took a hold. This prompted council efforts to preserve surviving examples.

The inspector agreed that the two styles had manifestly different appearances. Whereas long straw thatch had an open textured appearance, he found that the replacement combed wheat exhibited a denser, close-cropped finish. He concluded that it created an inappropriate alteration that failed to respect the building's historic character.

DCS Number 100-064-728

Inspector Roger Mather; Written representations

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