'My dream home has become nightmare': Anger over development of 17th century cottage

By Jessica Labhart | Penn | News | Published:

The fed up owner of a 17th century cottage says her dream home has turned into a nightmare after developers turned the house next door into a building site.

Peggy Large is upset by the building work taking place next door to her cottage

Peggy Large, aged 82, who lives on Church Hill in Penn, has fought for three and a half years against the development of the neighbouring cottage.

The plans were originally thrown out by the council twice, first in February 2014, then in April 2014 but approved on appeal in November 2015.

The house prior to development
The house in the early stages of development

Widower Mrs Large said Larchfield Homes, based in Tettenhall, soon began work sectioning off the garden and taking out and boarding up the paned windows and putting large metal fences around the property. But she says now the site has been left as an eyesore with little sign of further work going on.

The developers, and builder Kevin Koren, plan to build two four-bedroom houses on the land along with a two-bedroom bungalow in the garden with a separate entrance in The Fold.

Mrs Large said: "My house was meant to be my dream last house. Now it has turned into a nightmare with what is going on next door.

"Next door used to have a beautiful English garden with typical features and a lot of character inside."


Mess – Mrs Large has had to put up with this view

The houses were once the Upper Penn Parish Workhouses. Evidence of these properties exists from as early as1884.

Mrs Large continued: "When the plans were first submitted to develop the house, me and a lot of other residents fought against it at the council's planning committee and they rejected the plans twice.

"Then the developers went to the National Planning Inspectorate and got permission on appeal.


"Now I've come to terms with the development, even though the original character of the house seems to have been destroyed.

"I just want them to get on with developing it, because now it's an eye sore.

More than 100 residents joined forces to oppose the original plans
The plans were thrown out twice before being approved

"I mean, I don't want the noise and the building work, but I just want to get it tidied up and finished now."

Councillor Patricia Patten, Conservative councillor for Penn ward said: "It is an absolute disgrace and a total mess down there.

"It is detrimental to the local area and I can't believe that after so much effort was put in to obtain planning permission that it has been left like this."

No one from Larchfield Homes was available to comment on the development.

Kevin Koren said: “Delays were initially due to lengthy planning issues. This meant we had to leave the site and start another project in Shropshire. That development is now complete and work re-started on Church Hill a couple of weeks ago.”

More than 100 residents joined forces to oppose the original plans, which were rejected on the grounds that the development would be out of character with the area and would lead to a loss of privacy for neighbours.

The house was bought by Mr Koren in 2014 for £240,000.

Jessica Labhart

By Jessica Labhart

Reporter for the Express & Star, primarily covering Wolverhampton.


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