THE traditional character of a group of rural buildings set in Chester's countryside would be harmed by a two car garage, an independent planning inspector has decided.
The application for the garage, which would have been almost nine metres wide and 7.5m deep with a height of 7m including first floor storage, was put forward at Warren House Farm, Burton Lane, Duddon, by Mr and Mrs C Nevett.
The scheme was refused permission by Chester City Council and Mr and Mrs Nevett appealed to First Secretary of State John Prescott who appointed inspector Alexandra Fairclough to decide the application.
Mrs Fairclough says the main issue is the effect of the garage on the character of the locality and its wider setting.
The farm, says the inspector, is on a road junction outside Burton village in open countryside.
It includes a modern farm house, a holiday cottage, a timber and corrugated metal barn used for the storage of hay bales and single storey timber stables.
The garage would have replaced the tall, narrow barn but although it would have been lower, it would have been substantially wider and bulkier and would have a large roof, argues Mrs Fairclough.
Although the farmhouse is built of modern materials in a modern design, the inspector says the other buildings at the farm are rural in appearance and the garage would 'undermine' their traditional character.
She argued this would not maintain the local distinctiveness of the area and dismissed the appeal.