Parnham House: Masterplan plea for stately home restoration

  • Published
Image source, Knight Frank
Image caption,
The fire-damaged property was marketed at £2.5m

Plans for a marquee restaurant, car park and holiday chalets at a Grade I listed stately home have been approved.

Dorset Council agreed the proposals for Parnham House, near Beaminster, which was wrecked in an arson attack in 2017.

It was subsequently bought by former rave scene promoter James Perkins who said he wanted to transform the 131-acre estate and house.

Critics of the proposals have called for a masterplan for the estate rather than piecemeal development.

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS), Richard Smith of the Parnham Planning Response Group asked the planning committee why Dorset Council had not classified the project as a major development to ensure a strategic approach to its transformation.

Beaminster ward councillor Rebecca Knox said it was recognised the Perkins family would need to find income streams to support the restoration work.

Image source, PArnham Estate
Image caption,
Historic England objected to the construction of timber chalets on the estate

She added: "The balance is that things need to be done to deliver back its former beauty which will benefit us all, both county-wide and nationally."

Historic England objected to the six timber-clad holiday lets, adding it would like to see a comprehensive solution to restore Parnham House, the LDRS said.

Parnham project manager Ed Grant said plans being developed would allow the estate to reopen to the public and support food and drink producers and other business in the county.

Fire broke out at Parnham in the early hours of 15 April 2017 and took four days to fully extinguish.

Previous owner Michael Treichl was arrested on suspicion of arson and was found dead two months later.

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