Wiltshire Council urged to stop damage to Thoulstone Farm


Parish councillors have asked Wiltshire Council to investigate the damage being done to Grade 2 listed Thoulstone Farm in advance of planning permission being granted.

Thoulstone Farm, which falls within the Parish of Chapmanslade near the junction of the A36 and the A3098, has recently changed hands following the death in February last year of Chris Welch, who for many years was the previous owner. The farmhouse is now the subject of an extensive planning application submitted by Blockworks Group Ltd. based in Worchester, the CEO of which is the new owner, ex professional rugby player Jim Jenner.

Parish Councillor Phil Jefferson has expressed the concerns of villagers that important parts of the farm have been damaged, particularly by demolishing part of an original brick wall around the walled garden to make an entrance. Thoulstone Barn, which stands on staddle stones, is also now in a sorry state.

Phil said: “A large section of the wall around the walled garden has been irresponsibly – and illegally – razed to the ground. Also a delightful traditional barn standing on staddle stones seems to have been hit by a vehicle and is now in danger of collapse. You have to be suspicious when prior to a planning application bits of a listed building start falling down.

This is all most distressing and I have asked Wiltshire Council, which has a statutory duty to protect listed buildings, to investigate as a matter of urgency.

Blockworks Group has applied to Wiltshire Council for planning approval to build two single storey extensions to the 17th century Farmhouse. The company also wants to make interior alterations and build a new secondary highways access.

As a consequence of Phil’s intervention the Case Officer for the planning application has visited Thoulstone Farm and is in touch with the agent.

A local architect with extensive experience of working on listed buildings and an interest in the history of Chapmanslade, has reviewed the planning application and is very concerned that proposed changes to this fine house are not only inappropriate but further more the application forms appear to contain basic errors.

Parish Council Meeting, 29 August, 7.30pm in the Village Hall

Chapmanslade Parish Council will consider the application at its next meeting on August 29. Anyone interested in the history of Chapmanslade is asked to review and comment on the planning submission on Wiltshire Council’s website at: www.wiltshire.gov.uk/planning-applications-search (search for application number 19/06916/FUL) and attend the PC meeting to make his or her views known.

On behalf of the Parish Council, Phil Jefferson intends to invite Jim Jenner to come along to the meeting to discuss the issues raised and to share his vision and plans for Thoulstone Farm.

Phil says, “Attending the PC meeting would give Mr. Jenner an excellent opportunity to meet some of our open and friendly community and to try to gain the confidence of the parish.”

published 11 Aug 2019