Widow’s wrangle with council over colour of new home

HEARTBROKEN: Jayne Fawcett outside the house she designed with her late husband

HEARTBROKEN: Jayne Fawcett outside the house she designed with her late husband

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A widow claims she has been left homeless after a row over the colour of her dream home.

Jayne Fawcett, 62, came up with the design for the three-bed detached house in Cinnamon Hill Drive North, Walton-le-Dale, with her husband John before his death in March 2014. Central to the contemporary design was the long-lasting grey K-Rend render, which was chosen because suitable bricks initally wanted were not available.

A render and tile design was signed off by South Ribble planning bosses and the house was built, only coming to their attention again when unexpected alterations to a wet room were needed.

In April Mrs Fawcett was told alterations would not be passed because the grey render was “unduly prominent to the detriment of the character and appearance of the area”.

The council claims a requirement for an agreement on colour was made clear to Mrs Fawcett’s agent from the outset, but she denies this and wants to warn others in the planning process. Her agent Roger Treacher has declined to comment.

The Waitrose worker said: “Nothing was ever mentioned stipulating the colour of the render. If it had been, we’d have waited for the bricks to become available. John and I decided that it was a contemporary design and had to be grey, so I’ve continued with his wishes. The K-Rend is also maintainence free, which as a widow working part-time, I have to be careful about.”

She added: “The council says it’s not inkeeping with the area, but it’s built in my mum’s orchard and she’s the only one looking at it. She doesn’t want it in white or cream because it would stand out like a sore thumb.”

Having sold her previous home, Mrs Fawcett said she was told she could not move into the new build until it was signed off by planning bosses, and since July she has been living with friends and family. South Ribble Council claim there is nothing currently prohibiting her from moving in.

Mrs Fawcett replied: “I’ve had no confirmation of that at all and don’t want to break the law. And nobody has been to rate it for council tax, so how can I just move in?”

Mrs Fawcett said even if she did want to make the changes, she cannot afford the special paint required, having had one quote for £20,000. She has appealed the decision to the Secretary of State, but this has been declined.

South Ribble Council said when a planning application for a new building is received, it is usual practice to impose a condition requiring the details of the materials to be agreed.

A spokesman said the decision notice issued to Mrs Fawcett’s agent contained this information as did the appeal decision.