A “QUALITY” holiday home has been approved for Parnham House – for the second time.

The application for changes to the Dower House and building a near-identical holiday home opposite it was brought back to the area planning committee because council officers had been unable to reach agreement on a legal document associated with the February planning consent.

Councillors were told that concerns remained that the new property should remain linked, legally, to the estate, and there were still concerns from planning officers about some aspects of the design and impact of the new home on the overall site.

The new four-bedroom building, together with a swimming pool and pool house, will be the mirror image of the adjacent Dower House, at one of the entrances to the estate, off the A3066.

Dorset Echo: The proposed new home for holiday accommodation opposite the existing Dower House which will be improved.The proposed new home for holiday accommodation opposite the existing Dower House which will be improved. (Image: Supplied)

In February Dorset Council planning officers had argued that the building, although to a high standard, would cause ‘harm’ to the overall setting of the listed Dower House, the fire-damaged grade 1 Parnham House itself and the parks and gardens, also listed.

Councillors at the time disagreed, arguing that the level of ‘harm’ would only be minimal and outweighed by the economic benefits of providing the estate with an income stream which, in turn, will help pay for the restoration of the main house and stables block badly damaged by a devastating fire in April 2017.

The estate has always argued that the pay for renovations it needs to create an income stream, mainly from holiday accommodation and leisure activities, including functions. In recent years it has won planning approvals for four River Lodges and six Orchard ‘Rooms’ and is currently planning a Boathouse on the lake with the potential, in future, of some housing to the northern area of the park.

Agent for the estate, Ed Grant, told councillors that the original plans had been agreed, unanimously, in February and it remained crucial for the restoration of Parnham House that the plans be allowed to go ahead to provide an income stream to support the costly restoration.

He said that although the Dower House and the new house were on a separate land title to the house the estate they would remain linked to the estate and continued to be crucial for access to the wider estate grounds.

Cllr Nick Ireland said he saw no reason to alter the original approval with the proposals being of wider benefit to Dorset and to the Parnham estate.

“If this doesn’t go forward the chances are the whole enterprise could fail and that wouldn’t benefit anybody,” he said.

Part of the consent includes restoring the gates and piers at what was once an original entrance prior to the occupation of the new holiday let.