- EXCLUSIVE: Mullion Cove locals have blasted ‘building site’ left by neighbours
- Locals have accused the couple of building the home for use as a holiday home
- They claim the detached house ruins views on the AONB and looks ‘obtrusive’
Dr Nick Bamford, 71, a top TV exec who has also produced and directed shows including Doctors, Antiques Roadshow and Location, Location, Location, has been fighting for four years over claims a house next door to his violated planning laws by being almost a metre taller than agreed.
Nick and his partner, actor Richard Curnow, moved to Mullion Cove, a sleepy fishing village in the west of Cornwall, in 2020 and works on a new house opposite them began almost immediately.
He said: ‘We are p***** off because it is far more obtrusive than the planning said it would be.
‘When they applied for planning permission they said they said when they applied for planning permission they were going to live down here permanently but they never had any intention of doing so – they live in Hertfordshire.
‘It’s a building site, it’s a tip, and it has been for four years now.
The owners occasionally visit for a couple of days but make no attempt to clear up the mess, correct the building so that it will conform to the agreement, or begin the landscaping which is also agreed, and which they have promised to do.
‘It is utterly outrageous that those who don’t live in Cornwall can seek to exploit, and then ruin our area of outstanding natural beauty and not in any way be held to account by planning.
‘What they have built bears no relation to what they had permission to built. It’s too high by about a metre and they have now put in a retrospective application to see if what has been built is acceptable. There is supposed to be landscaping to conceal it but there isn’t
‘Every time we contact the council it’s on hold or they are thinking about it – they are doing nothing and just hoping it’ll go away but we are jumping up and down because we have to stare at that mess every bloody day.’
Mr Stevens, 73, added: ‘We are not NIMBYS, we just feel it’s been a load of lies from the start. A lot of us object to people buying properties in Cornwall with no intention to live there. It’s just a way to make money and doesn’t help the community at all.’
An application in 2016 for a two-storey modern home on the site – which is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) – was rejected by Cornwall Council as it had ‘no architectural or design merit’
However, it was approved by the planning inspectorate on appeal. The appeal conditions included that the house should be built to the exact plans of the original application and its garden should be landscaped as a way to blend in within the AONB and not have any detrimental visual impact on the area.
B&B owners John and Arabella Allely said they wouldn’t have objected if the house had been built to the approved plans.
Arabella, 64, said: ‘We were assured we wouldn’t be able to see it, they insisted they would keep all the vegetation and trees which have all gone and it would be tucked away and we wouldn’t be bothered by the lights.
‘It shouldn’t have had any impact at all. They need to lower the roof line and do some considerable landscaping.
‘Mullion Cove is special because it is so unspoilt, nothing has changed here forever and anything that has been done has been done sympathetically – that is what makes it so special.’
John, 74, added: ‘They’ve got away with murder really. They got the planning on the basis it was going to be a dwelling but nobody lives there nor have they for many years. It’s going to be a holiday let.’
A spokesperson for Cornwall Council said: ‘We have investigated alleged breaches of planning control in relation to this development and this has led to the landowners submitting a retrospective planning application.
‘Any potential enforcement action is held in abeyance while the retrospective planning application is considered.
‘Once the application has been determined we will assess whether any further enforcement action is required.’