Council orders homeowner to repaint her pretty 17th century listed cottage …

  • Owners say that the shade of pink used is exactly the same as before
  • Devon council say they need planning permission or they could face court
  • Owner Ann Kennedy: ‘I’m devastated and heartbroken by what’s happened’

By
Martin Robinson

09:05 GMT, 30 April 2013


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14:01 GMT, 30 April 2013

The owners of a pretty 17th century cottage have been threatened with court by their ‘jobsworth’ local council after planners decided they had made it too pink.

Ann Kennedy is upset after officers knocked on her door to say she should have applied for planning permission to paint her Grade II listed thatched cottage in the idyllic Devon countryside.

Mrs Kennedy and her husband Mark say the cottage in Kennford is exactly the same colour as it was when they bought it in 2001, and called the council’s actions a ‘waste of money’.

Upset: Ann Kennedy in front of her listed cottage in Devon, which the local council say is too pink

Upset: Ann Kennedy in front of her listed cottage in Devon, which the local council say is too pink

Any different? Ann's daughter stands in front of the cottage 12 years ago, when the family moved in. They claim it looks no different today

Any different? Ann’s daughter Hollie stands in front of the cottage 12 years ago, when the family moved in. They claim it looks no different today

The couple say that Teignbridge District Council in Devon have threatened legal action after a single complaint about the shade of paint used on Lantern Cottage, which they say should be lighter.

Pink is a common colour on houses of this age and type all over the UK.

‘This has been going on for 18 months. Other residents around us all had their paintwork done and it made ours look shabby, Mrs Kennedy said.

‘So we spent nearly £1,000 renewing our paintwork in the same colour, pink.

Particulars: The Kennedys are using the details of their 2001 purchase as evidence to back their claims it looks no different

Particulars: The Kennedys are using the details of their 2001 purchase as evidence to back their claims it looks no different

‘We have been living here 12 years so we renewed the paintwork. But before the paint had even dried we had someone from the council come round to say they did not like the colour and that we needed planning permission.

‘I have pictures of the cottage painted in pink when we moved in and on the estate agent’s details.

‘Just one person has complained. He does not live within viewing distance of the house and has to physically walk around just to see it.

‘Then I received a letter from Teignbridge Council saying I had to apply for planning permission.

‘I have now put in planning permission for pink. It is certainly not a shocking pink, it is a bit lighter than before. I am devastated and heartbroken by what has happened,’ said the retired dance teacher.

The council has the power to make them paint it again if they are still unhappy, which could be another shade of pink.

The Kennedy family say the three bedroom cottage was pink when they bought it for £130,000 12 years ago and took photos of it at the time which prove it is still the same colour.

They have received backing from local Lib Dem councillor Alan Connett, who has intervened on their behalf.

‘I think the council is demonstrating the worst of being a Jobsworth,’ he said.

‘Mrs Kennedy is being put through the bureaucratic mangle because she painted her cottage the same colour.

‘Teignbridge Council had just one complaint and the parish council raised no objection at all.

‘Council officers could be spending their time chasing really serious planning breaches and protecting listed buildings in real danger.’

Traditional: Ann's Lantern Cottage is a pink traditionally used on homes of a similar age all over the UK

Traditional: Ann’s Lantern Cottage is a pink traditionally used on homes of a similar age all over the UK

Argument: Ann Kennedy and her husband Mark say their Grade II listed home has not changed

Argument: Ann Kennedy and her husband Mark say their Grade II listed home has not changed at all

Row: There has been one complaint about the colour of the house is Kennford, Devon (pictured), and the council has taken that on towards court

Row: There has been one complaint about the colour of the house is Kennford, Devon (pictured), and the council has taken that on towards court

But council bosses say they are following a standard procedure.

A Teignbridge District Council spokeswoman said: ‘In November 2011 we received a formal complaint regarding the colour of the Grade II listed cottage in Kennford. Our planning and conservation officers visited and carried out a site inspection.

‘We advised the owner that Listed Building Consent (LBC) was required. This is needed before any alterations are made to listed buildings that affect its character or appearance. We also advised that enforcement action could be taken if an application was not received of the alteration was not reversed.

‘A retrospective LBC application was lodged on April 23. The application will now go through the usual planning procedures and will be open to comments from everyone, including people living nearby, statutory consultees and anyone else who may wish to put forward a view. A decision is due to be made in June.’

The comments below have not been moderated.

Ever been to Burano? One of the most beautiful places I have even seen in my life. House next to house, ranging from
lime green to pretty pink. Humble abodes, nothing posh, but so cosy, friendly and just wow. Shame that people cant be more open minded, as life without color is nothing.

expat
,

Athens Greece,
30/4/2013 15:41

I’d also complain – that’s a ridiculous colour to paint a house.

Teresa
,

Cape Town,
30/4/2013 15:41

Historically houses of this period were pink. The local council obviously dont know their history.

Bazil
,

London,
30/4/2013 15:41

What a common colour for a pretty house! I hope the council win

Eugine Bottomley
,

England (South, obvs),
30/4/2013 15:38

Having dealt with historic / listed structures here in the U.S., there’s a reason why something as seemingly ‘unimportant’ as paint color is important. In trying to maintain the historical significance of a structure, whether it’s listed or not, in a historic district, or not, it’s always best if things such as paint color, materials, windows, roofing and such, be as true as possible to it’s period of construction; while making sure the structure meets health and safety codes (electrical, plumbing, etc). Paint fades over time, however the pink indicated in the original photo is much lighter, softer, muted shade. The owners claim they painted it pink, as it was before, is a little disingenuous. There’s ‘pink’ and then there’s ‘PINK!!’. The new paint job falling into the later category. I’m sure they had the option of taking a chip of original paint on the house and having it matched. It is their house, BUT, they knew when they bought it, it’s historical / vintage nature.

Skyline Pigeon
,

S.H., United States,
30/4/2013 15:35

Go to court , take the pictures and make the local council a laughing stock, so they never come near your house again!

BigH-Carlisle
,

Carlisle,
30/4/2013 15:32

interesting; pink is the colour used by anti bullying groups…

Nova Scotia Guy
,

cole harbour, Canada,
30/4/2013 15:31

It’s a beautiful old building and even though it was that color when they purchased it, I think they should’ve painted it a different color. That pink is UGLY!!!

Mrs. Bush
,

Middle America_usa,
30/4/2013 15:31

Ghastly

Carol
,

Nuneaton, United Kingdom,
30/4/2013 15:30

It looks the same colour to me as it did 12 years ago. Cant see the problem. Fight the stupid council.

brian
,

Blandford,
30/4/2013 15:30

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