John Fowles former Lyme home to be restored

Planners give the go ahead for controverisal alterations to famous author’s former home

A CONTROVERSIAL �2million scheme to restore author John Fowles’ former Lyme Regis home has been given the go ahead.

West Dorset planners surprisingly approved an application by the Landmark Trust to remove extensions to Belmont House, in Pound Street, and carry out alterations to the main building for use as holiday accommodation.

Members approved the scheme, despite being advised not to by their officers.

Case officer Andrew Martin said the plan was to strip away the Victorian extensions of the hilltop home and leave the Georgian core.

The only later addition to the property that would remain was its distinctive observatory, which would be left as a free-standing building.

Mr Martin said officers had concerns over the removal of the two-storey south west extension which they felt was

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an important part of the building’s history and should be kept.

His view was supported by Mr Fowles’ widow Sarah who said her late husband would have disapproved of leaving the tower “as a silly folly in the garden.”

English Heritage also objected to the proposed alterations to the Grade II listed building.

But councillors were impressed by the Landmark Trust plans.

Stella Jones said leaving the observatory as a solitary building would give it more impact.