Concerns over proposed Leslie House development

Leslie House was gutted by a fire in 2009.
Leslie House was gutted by a fire in 2009.

Concerns have been expressed about plans to convert the historic Leslie House into 28 luxury apartments.

Byzantian Developments has submitted plans to redevelop the fire-damaged 17th century house, creating the flats, while also constructing eight houses on the grounds.

The Friends of Leslie House, which had planned to turn it into a community hub prior to Byzantian purchasing the house, had welcomed the plans.

The group says it “appreciates the boldness” of the design, however, it says it has concerns regarding the development of the “new footprint in such a heritage sensitive area” and asks that the 1890s conservatory be relocated to the village.

A statement from the group concludes: “In considering the number of properties to be developed on the site, the initial and expanded enabling clause; 29 houses to be built by Muir Homes in the land adjacent to Dukes Lodge, and the proposed 2018 enabling clause; 17 houses, we have concerns about the cumulative impact of 46 new houses on the cultural landscape and sense of place that Leslie House has occupied over centuries.

“These features have been ranked as having outstanding architectural merit set within an equally impressive designed landscape.

“We suggest that the new, and combined housing development, will be detrimental and have a lasting negative impact on the historic landscape.

“The current proposal, as a stand-alone design, we believe to be sympathetic to the listed building its gardens and historic landscape, but find it more difficult to reconcile two separate housing developments in such an important historic precinct.”