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Hollingbourne family take neighbours to High Court over their plans for 'suburban' barn conversion


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A disgruntled neighbour has asked the High Court to block his neighbour's planned extension because it is "too suburban" to be built next to his multi-million pound home.

Former Fortnum & Mason designer Glenn Kinnersley, 60, and his wife Donna, from Hollingbourne, are objecting to neighbour Paul Dixon's proposed barn conversion.

Plans to knock down part of an old barn in Hollingbourne and erect two homes have been criticised
Plans to knock down part of an old barn in Hollingbourne and erect two homes have been criticised
Hollingbourne couple Paul and Angela Dixon
Hollingbourne couple Paul and Angela Dixon

The couple live at Hollingbourne House near Maidstone next to photographer Paul and his wife Angela Dixon, whose Mulberry Cottage adjoins the Kinnersley's property.

But now the four are at loggerheads after Maidstone Borough Council approved the Dixon's plans to build two new dwellings by converting outbuildings last January.

After writing multiple letters of objection and protest, the Kinnersleys are appealing to the High Court to block the plans for a "suburban" barn conversion as they believe it will have an impact on the heritage asset of their Georgian home, where they have lived for more than 15 years.

The family's lawyers say they have "fundamental concern about the design of the scheme" from their neighbours, which involves demolishing part of their barn to build a replacement structure, and converting its front section to create two homes, plus parking and garden space.

Neighbours in Hollingbourne don't want an old wall to be knocked down, claiming it will impact the heritage asset of their home
Neighbours in Hollingbourne don't want an old wall to be knocked down, claiming it will impact the heritage asset of their home
Angry neighbours in Hollingbourne have criticised Maidstone Borough Council's decision to approve planning
Angry neighbours in Hollingbourne have criticised Maidstone Borough Council's decision to approve planning

One letter from Kember Loudon Williams (KLW) on the Kinnersleys' behalf said the plans were "entirely inappropriate" and would "directly harm" their Grade-II listed home by removing the walls.

Another protest letter sent to Maidstone council saw the Hollingbourne House owners complain about the design of the the proposals.

The couple criticised the "dominating windows", which would be "highly visible" and claimed they, and the project as a whole, would be out of keeping with the character of the site and would "draw the eye".

They added the new structure would be "overbearing and domineering" and have even submitted their own ideas for an alternative scheme.

Maidstone Borough Council disagreed with the Kinnersleys and thought the restoration of the crumbling walls would have a public benefit, as well as being a positive gain for the historic home.

Judge Karen Walden Smith reserved ruling in the case and will make a decision at a later date.

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