THE owners of a listed Edwin Lutyens designed lodge house at West Marton, near Skipton, have lost their appeal to keep a 'dwarf wall' because of its 'harmful effect' on the grade two star listed Gledstone Hall.

Plans for ground level paving, steps and a dwarf wall at East Lodge, Gledstone Hall, were refused by the former Craven District Council almost two years ago, in April, 2022, and have now been dismissed on appeal by a Government planning inspector.

In their planning decision notice, the inspector noted that the work had already taken place and that the appeal sought to keep the terrace. The main issue was said the inspector, the effect of the development on the 'special interest and significance of the Grade two star listed Gledstone Hall, its forecourt walls, pavilions and gates'.

Built almost exactly 100 years ago, Gledstone Hall, listed in 1988, was built by Sir Edwin Lutyens, who has been described as one of the greatest of all British architects and whose houses, public buildings and monuments include Castle Drogo in Devon, Heathcote in Ilkley, Baroda House in Delhi and The Cenotaph in London.

In their decision notice, the inspector G Bayliss concluded that the dwarf wall had a 'harmful effect on the special interest and significance of the listed building'.

While acknowledging that the hall and its lodges were largely hidden from public view, the inspector said listed buildings were 'safeguarded for their inherent architectural and historic interest, irrespective of whether public views or access can be gained' and added that the dwarf wall was a later addition that was 'visually harmful' and a 'competing element disrupting the strong geometric layout and form' intended by Lutyens for the hall, which includes a planting scheme supplied by Gertrude Jekyll.

The inspector said: "The dwarf wall is clearly beneficial to the owner's living conditions, providing a more private, screened area to enjoy their outdoor space. However, I regard this as a private rather than a public benefit. Moreover, I have been given no evidence that the continued viable use of the appeal property as a residential dwelling is dependent on these works, as the building has an ongoing residential use that would not cease in its absence."

The inspector concluded: "The public benefits identified would be of insufficient weight to outweigh the great weight to be given to the harm to the grade two star listed building. In addition, there is no clear and convincing justification for the harm to the significance of the listed building."