Carter Jonas Secures Planning for the Conservation of William Morris’ Historic Oxfordshire Home
Date of Article
Nov 14 2018
Planning & development

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Carter Jonas, has secured planning permission on behalf of the Society of Antiquaries of London for a new on-site education centre at Kelmscott Manor, alongside the conservation and refurbishment of the West Oxfordshire estate’s Grade I listed heritage buildings.

Kelmscott Manor is a limestone manor house that dates from 1570 in the Cotswolds village of Kelmscott. It was built by local farmer Thomas Turner and remained in the family for generations, but is best known as the country home of the writer, designer and socialist William Morris. He lived there from 1871 until his death in 1896 drawing inspiration from the house’s architecture and garden. It featured in his work ‘News from Nowhere’ and in the background of Rosetti’s painting of Morris’ wife ‘Water Willow’.

Carter Jonas’ planning and development team worked closely with experts in the consultancy’s rural practice to vary a restrictive covenant in favour of Kelmscott Manor. They also negotiated with a neighbouring landowner to rent a small area of land for a new car park, which involved the surrender of a long-term lease from the agricultural tenant, a change of use and settling terms for a new long-term lease direct with the landowner.

The new 969 sq ft (90m2) education centre will be built on the south side of the farmyard with construction due to start in Q2 2019. Conservation repairs will begin in Q2 2020 to the listed buildings of Kelmscott Manor including the house itself, the Stable Barn that houses the cafe and the Granary Building, which contains the visitor’s shop.

Nicky Brock, Partner, Carter Jonas said: “It is a privilege to work on an architectural treasure with such a strong design heritage. The planning permission means that important refurbishment works can be undertaken to conserve the collection of Grade I listed building that make up the estate, whilst looking to the future with the addition of the new education centre. This will ensure that visitors can not only enjoy the house and its grounds, but learn more about the legacy of Kelmscott Manor and its most famous resident William Morris. The project is a good example of how we can bring together specialists across our core divisions to create a bespoke solution for our clients.”