Planning application RR/2012/2343/P

“Restoration of two farms, including the renovation of Listed farmhouse, construction of 6 wooden holiday lodges (offline eco), new manor house and associated structures”

How can I make a comment on this application to Rother District Council planning department. and what can I say?

View photomontages showing how the propsed Birchford House would look from various points across the reservoir

Application made on 23 November 2012, advertised by Rother District Council on 14 December 2012.

The locations are at and around Baldwins Farm, Mountfield.  Location plans.

The planning application, as submitted, is very long, contains much irrelevant material and lacks any clear, concise statement of the proposed developments. So, for clarity, it can be stated that this planning application consists of four distinct planning proposals:

1) the restoration of Baldwins Farmhouse, a grade 2 listed which has fallen into some disrepair;

2) the building of a completely new, very large, house (“Birchford House”), overlooking Darwell Reservoir, with associated buildings (an orangery and garaging);

3) the re-routing of the public footpath across Baldwins land between The Banks and the reservoir;

4) the creation of six “eco lodges” for tourism.

To make a comment on this application, click here to view the Rother planning page, and then click “Comment on this application” on the Rother site. Your comment will then be submitted to Rother District Council.  Alternatively email

The documents on the Rother planning page are not well organized.  An easier way of following the documents is via the links below.  All the information in the application is available via the following links (some of the documents are very large so you will need to be patient if you have a slow internet connection).

Maps, block plans, location plans

Application form Standard Rother application form
Site plan / location plan for 6 proposed “Eco lodges”
Overall site location plan “Baldwins” is existing.  “Birchford” and the Eco lodges are proposed new
Map showing drive access to Baldwins Existing
Map with closer details of Baldwins and its drive Largely existing
Footpath Existing footpath and proposed re-routing to avoid new “Birchford House” mansion
Birchford House block plan Block plan showing proposed new “Birchford House” in its location

Drawings of proposed new manor “Birchford House”

Cross section
North elevation
East elevation
South elevation
West elevation
Coach house and orangery (1)
Coach house and orangery (2)
Doorway detail
Window detail
Drawing room detail
Sash window detail
Basement plan
Ground floor plan
First floor plan
Second floor plan
Roof plan

Main application

Main application – introduction, contents and part 1
“Introduction – Concordia Natura – a new manor
 Not much specific information about the planning application but a lot about the “vision”.
Main application – part 2:
“A new vision for the Baldwins and Birchford Estate
More “vision”
Main application – part 3:
“Historical context – Weald of Kent and Sussex
Nothing specific about this application – just general background on the area.
Main application part 4:
“The architecture of Stephen Langer Associates”
In which Stephen Langer praises the architecture of Stephen Langer Associates
Main application – part 5:
Historical and archaeological assessment”
History of Baldwins Farm (and Farmhouse) and the former nearby hamlet/cottages/farm at Birchford (which were demolished around 1939)
Main application – part 6: “Current state of the buildings and proposed works”
Main application – part 7:
“Birchford a new 21st Century Manor House”
Describes the proposed new mansion


Appendix 1 Part 2: “An archaeological and architectural assessment” Description of Birchford farm and hamlet (demolished in 1939)
Appendix 1 Part 1: “An Architectural & Historical Analysis” History and description of Baldwins Farm house (existing) and farm buildings
Appendix 2 Part 1: “Report on a visual structural inspection” Structural report on Baldwins Farm house (existing Grade II listed building)
Appendix 2 Part 2: “Plans and photographs of the new Granary and Sand School” [title page and photos] Photos of buildings/structures that have already been built (with planning permission) near Baldwins farmhouse under planning permission RR/2008/2471/P
Appendix 2 Part 2: “Plans and photographs of the new Granary and Sand School” [ “machinery store” – plans] Already built under planning permission RR/2008/2471/P
Appendix 2 Part 3: “Plans and photographs of the Barn and Stables” [title page, location plan and photos] Photos of buildings/structures that have already been built (with planning permission) near Baldwins farmhouse under planning permission RR/2008/2471/P
Appendix 2 Part 3: “Plans and photographs of the Barn and Stables” [plans and elevations] Already built under planning permission RR/2008/2471/P
Appendix 2 Part 4: “Plans and photographs for the Listed Farmhouse Restoration” Proposed restoration of Baldwins Farmhouse (existing Grade II listed building)
Appendix 2 Part 5: “Ecological Survey to verify the presence of Bats and Bat Roosts” Bat survey carried out in June 2007
Appendix 3 Part 1: “Environmental appraisal and business plan” Plan dated October 2007 by Country Land Management, proposing the establishment of a Beef Suckler herd, alongside breeding ewes.
Appendix 3 Part 2: “Interpretive report on Ground Investigation” Soil and foundation analysis for the purposes of the buildings which were proposed and approved under RR/2008/2471/P, ie the barn/stables etc, which were subsequently  built.
Appendix 3 Part 3: “Greater [sic] Crested Newt survey” Document dated Jan 2008, describing a survey carried out in 2007.  Investigated newts within a 500m radius of Baldwins Farm house.
Appendix 3 Part 4: “Archaeological watching brief” As a condition of planning permission RR/2008/2471/P, ie the new barn, stables etc which were subsequently built, an archaeological watching brief document was required to be written.  This is that document.
Appendix 4 part 1: “Equine information” Document dated November 2008 by Country Land Management, proposing the establishment of an equestrian business.
Appendix 4 part 2: “The Bavarian tradition and Animal Husbandry Plan” Document by Stephen Langer associates, Architects.  This document contains a brief description of the Bavarian Warmblood breed, copied word for word from Wikipedia.  Also a pedigree chart, in German, and another copy of one of the site plans.
Appendix 4 part 3: “Landscape Assessment and Proposals” Garden design proposal.  Hard to find any specifics in this document
Appendix 4 part 4: “Darwell water, Peninsula and Eco Lodges” Brief description of the reservoir, plus drawings of the proposed Eco Lodges.  No functional details of the Eco lodges.
Appendix 4 part 5: Bio-Diversity and Wild Animals Brief descriptions and photos of a few animals, fish and butterflies claimed to be found locally
Appendix 5 part 1: “Country Life front cover & article Braysham Castle by Amicia de Moubray” Reprint of an article in Country Life February 22, 2007
Appendix 5 part 2: “Country Life article New Classical Houses in and English Arcadia by Clive Fewins” Reprint of a Country Life article praising the work of Stephen Langer, Architect
Appendix 5 part 3: “Home Building and Renovating article Classicism in Stonegate” Reprint of an article entitled “Simple Elegance” from “Home Building and Renovating”
Appendix 5 part 4: “Country Life article Building houses that people want by Dr Giles Worsley” Reprint of an article from Country Life
Appendix 5 part 5: “Self build and design article Steeped In Tradition by Clive Fewins” Reprint of a magazine article

Drainage information (submitted 2 Jan 2013)

Screening opinion by Rother District Council

NB Comments made via the “Leave a Reply” box below will NOT reach Rother District Council. See top of this page for how to make an official comment to Rother.


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