THE controversial plan to demolish historic Cotebrook House at Lymm and build six detached houses on the site has been given the go-ahead by Warrington planning chiefs.
More than 70 years after the former country house was converted to a care home, the borough council’s development management committee has decided unanimously there is no alternative but demolition and re-development.
The house has been standing empty for two years and is in a deteriorating condition.
“I first went there in 1948 and remember how lovely it was. But now it has dry rot and wet rot and the roof is leaking in lots of places. There are buckets everywhere catching the water.
“There is no way you could save that building.”
The application to build six, six-bedroom houses on the wooded site in Oughtrington Lane triggered a protest petition from people who wanted to see the locally-listed building saved.
Objectors said the house should be converted rather than demolished because of its historic interest and argued that the scheme was contrary to the local plan strategy.
They claimed the new houses would tower over existing neighbouring properties and would be out of keeping with the area. There would also be a loss of light and of privacy and the safety of pupils at the adjoining Lymm High School should be taken into account.
However, two neighbours supported the scheme and there were no objections from Lymm Parish Council.
Committee members decided the scheme represented a planning gain as the new development would enable the narrow footpath in Oughtrington Lane to be widened.
Councillors were told that a recent application for the property to become a statutory listed building was rejected because of its condition and because very little remained of the original house. They agreed to ask the developers if they would keep the name “Cotebrook” in the development.