Plans for a spectacularly designed four-floor split-level new home built into a hillside have been approved despite claims it was "a threat to a conservation area".

The house, at Tanners Street, Ramsbottom, was described by opponents as "one of the most contentious applications there has been for a long time in the town".

One councillor claimed the design, which includes a cinema room and "green living walls" was totally unsuitable for the area saying "it may look wonderful in Beverley Hills but certainly not in Ramsbottom".

Speaking in support of the plans, property agent, Richard Gee, said: “Design appreciation is subjective.

"I feel feel this is a beautiful design. It’s very much a one-off.

“It’s bespoke to this site and tiered over four floors, nestled against a hillside.

"Yes it’s modern and yes it’s a new layer on the conservation area but it preserves the character.

“There’s a high quality mix of material selected for their robustness and ruggedness, which reflects Ramsbottom as an industrial Lancashire town.

That view was supported by Cllr Martin Hayes.


The house in Ramsbottom

The house in Ramsbottom


He said: “It’s an exciting project and visually very attractive. To build a pastiche of a 19th century Victorian style house wouldn’t work.

“It would not be as attractive.

"It would be looking back when we should be looking forward."

Objector Linda Kenny, spoke on behalf of Ramsbottom Heritage Society.

She said: “We believe it is one of the most contentious applications there has been for a long time.

“It represents a huge threat to the ongoing integrity of the Ramsbottom conservation area.

"The applicant seems to have chosen to ignore every long-held rule and regulation governing new development on conservation areas with breathtaking arrogance.

“The local architecture is mainly two-up two-down 19th century traditional millstone terraces with pitched slate roofs which make the distinctive character fo the area.

"All comments to the council say the design doesn’t fit the character of the area.

“The council has a responsibility to protect the special features of a conservations area. and heritage assets are irreplaceable.

"This modern and contemporary approach is totally out of character, it would be an eyesore, standing out like a sore thumb and having an adverse effect on the character.

“How on earth could this be recommended for approval. Even a child could look at these designs and say ‘that doesn’t look right’.”

Cllr Jackie Harris also opposed the plans. She explained: “It’s certainly a remarkable house.

“I think it may look wonderful in Beverley Hills but certainly not in Ramsbottom. It’s a conservation area, something very special.

“I cannot support this at all. We need to keep our heritage.”

The committee approved the plans for the house with a majority decision.