A SEVERELY fire-damaged house in the borough’s green belt could be demolished and replaced by a four-bedroom property, planners believed.

The application was made by Mr and Mrs Chris Jordan at Top Mill Cottage, Watery Lane, Frodsham, who told planning officers at Cheshire West and Chester Council they were also seeking a change of use of adjoining land from agriculture to residential and for a new access.

The new-build would occupy a similar position to the previous house, according to a report.

Planning officers had one objection that the development would set a precedent in the surrounding area.

An occupier at nearby Mill Cottage welcomed the new access as it was believed the present arrangement was inadequate for larger vehicles. Landscape specialists at the borough council felt the property would be out of character.

The floor space of the new-build would increase by 10%, the report stated and the proposed house would be taller although planning officers did not believe it would have a significant greater effect on the openness or character of the green belt.

Although the new access would be inappropriate development it would take what appeared to be the shortest available route to the house and involved the least encroachment into the green belt. As it would run along a hedgerow, this would reduce its effect.

The new property, which would be finished in white render, would not be detrimental to the appearance of the area.

The application was recommended for approval as the house would not be inappropriate development.

The council agreed permission subject to 13 conditions.