Buxingham Palace crowned ‘too grand’ for rural setting

Buxingham Palace
Buxingham Palace
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Plans for a majestic country house, dubbed Buxingham Palace by hostile villagers, have been thrown out by councillors.

The futuristic four-floor mansion, designed for the Bux clothing family, was declared “totally inappropriate” for the rolling Goosnargh countryside near Preston.

Planning officers had recommended the multi-million pound grand design in Langley Lane should get the go-ahead. But members of the planning committee disagreed and narrowly rejected it - on the chairman’s casting vote.

Ward councillor Lona Smith, who championed the locals’ case, said later: “We’re very pleased that the committee agreed with us that this proposal was definitely not in keeping with the rural area and would not enhance it.”

Architect Roger Stephenson, who designed the palatial property cut into sloping farm fields, told the committee his aim had been to produce “award-winning contemporary architecture worthy of international recognition.” The design followed the spirit of the English country house, he said.

Alban Cassidy, of Cassidy and Ashton, argued Preston had not had an opportunity since the mill owners of more than a century ago to build the sort of country house that would be a legacy for generations to come. It was, he said, a “very grand family home we are not going to see the likes of it again.”

But Coun Smith told members the house flew in the face of planning rules and would mean “the loss of another greenfield site in a tranquil and rural area.”

She added: “The building is enormous and completely out of character with the rural landscape.”

Coun Tom Davies said: “It looks like the tardis and I’m waiting for Dr Who to appear.” But Coun John Browne disagreed. “It’s something different and should be welcomed. Local people are a bit scared of something that is new.”

Members voted 7-7, with Coun Brian Rollo exercising his chairman’s casting vote to reject the application.

The decision will now go before the full council for ratification on October 16.