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Journalist David Wigg helps save Georgian house in Teynham from demolition

By John Nurden

A dilapidated Georgian house has been saved from demolition, thanks to campaigners.

Swale council planners refused permission for the home in London Road, Teynham, to be bulldozed to make way for two pairs of semi-detached houses.

The decision came on Tuesday after residents and the Georgian Society objected.

Journalist David Wigg at his flat in Chelsea. Picture: Jenny Goodall, IPTC (6806165)
Journalist David Wigg at his flat in Chelsea. Picture: Jenny Goodall, IPTC (6806165)

National showbiz journalist David Wigg, whose family comes from Teynham, said: "The whole village was hopping mad. The new owners had already started trying to dismantle the house."

He launched a petition to save it and the council has since slapped a preservation order on the property, which was home to the Thomas family for more than 100 years.

But when the last member, John Thomas, went into a nursing home, the house was sold to a Mr and Mrs Brown who lodged the planning application for four five-bedroom homes.

Saved: Mount House in Teynham cannot be demolished (6794942)
Saved: Mount House in Teynham cannot be demolished (6794942)

Mr Wigg who has been featured in a recent TV documentary about former Queen star Freddie Mercury, said: "It is wonderful news how the village got behind this battle and how Swale council put the kibosh on these plans. I am so glad."

The development is within the Cellar Hill and Greenstreet conservation area.

The property still has an original coach house and hand water pump in the kitchen.

Zachary Osborne, south east conservation adviser to the Georgian Society, said: "This is a fine, stucco-fronted house which appears to date from the early19th century.

"The applicant’s heritage statement notes the house retains a pair of staircases, one between ground and first floor and and one between the first floor and roof suggesting the original stairs survive.

"The document also notes the survival of lath and plaster ceilings and timber. That suggests the house may have (even) earlier origins, in common with many of the houses nearby."

These two semi-detached homes would have replaced the Georgian Mount House in Teynham (6794940)
These two semi-detached homes would have replaced the Georgian Mount House in Teynham (6794940)

He said it was a "good example" of a detached town house and may be considered to be of "special interest." He added: "At the very least, it must be considered a non-designated heritage asset. Furthermore, its age and its specific mention in the Cellar Hill and Greenstreet Conservation Area character appraisal confirm that it makes a positive contribution to the area."

Swale's planning officer Claire Attaway said she could see no justification in pulling it down and added: "The proposed development, by nature of its poor design, would represent over intensive, cramped development with prominent parking within the front which would cause considerable harm to the special character and appearance of the area."

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