Former home of a Bepton artist is saved

THE SOUTH Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) has emerged victorious after it fought to save the home of a Bepton artist.

Hopkiln Cottage, in Bepton, was the subject of a planning appeal after the national park refused permission for the cottage’s current owner to demolish it and most of a nearby barn, and replace it with a four-bedroom dwelling.

On Tuesday the planning inspector dismissed the appeal after the enquiry was held in February.

The cottage and barn were owned by Steve Sykes, an artist who has work displayed in Coventry Cathedral.

He owned the cottage and barn for around 30 years, and created a range of artwork on site.

Representatives of the national park said the area was one of historical and cultural significance.

The planning inspector also questioned the effect the proposed development would have on the rural character and appearance of the area.

Despite not being listed as sites of significance, he said of the two buildings: “They serve as a reminder of the agricultural heritage of this part of the national park and contribute to a sense of place.

However, he did note: “It does not seem to me that the heritage significance of Hopkiln Cottage, individually or cumulatively, is so great as to rule out in principle the construction of a replacement dwelling on the site.

“This view is, however, on the basis that elements of greatest significance are retained and that such a dwelling would make a positive contribution to local character and distinctiveness and would be acceptable in other respects.”