July 23 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, May 22, 2014
New gates proposed for an East Cambridgeshire stud farm – described by English Heritage as “both assertive and unsophisticated” - have been approved by planners.
The gates will replace those at the existing two entrances to Chippenham Lodge and form part of an extensive refurbishment of the estate.
The late 19th century neo-Queen Anne country house, set in more than 100 acres, has enjoyed a chequered history but 18 months ago was acquired by an Indian businessman.
Dilip Rahulan is the founder of Pacific Controls, a major technology company, who plans to restore the farm to international status as a stud facility.
He told East Cambridgeshire District Council he planned to live on the estate “and to rebuild and reinvigorate the Chippenham Lodge stud”.
A decision notice approving the new gates was issued this week, although planning officer Ann Caffall said following talks with the new owners “the proposals were amended to include a much more simple design”.
She said the existing brick gates/walls to both entrances were of a poor quality and “do not create an obvious entrance way into the site”.
In her report Ms Caffall said: “It is accepted that the design of the lodges is assertive, however this reflects the new ownership of Chippenham Lodge, just as the gates and lodges of Chippenham Park form part of its character.”
English Heritage’s argument of weighing public benefit against “substantial harm” was dealt with in the planning officer’s report.
She said the estate had been in decline prior to its recent purchase with vacant buildings in a deteriorating condition.
The new owners would support local business, boost employment and support the horse racing industry.