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Developer pleads guilty to modernising listed manor house in the Usk Valley

by on April 30, 2015

A millionaire property developer has admitted in court that he should not have modernised Llanwenarth House, a Grade II listed property in the picturesque Usk Valley in Monmouth shire.

The Georgian-style manor house was built in the late 16th century and is where Irish composer Cecil Alexander is thought to have written the lyrics to the famous hymn ‘All, things bright and beautiful’.

Newport Crown Court heard how Kim Davies, 60,  made extensive changes after buying the house in 2007, wrecking its Regency features and replacing them with modern and mock-Tudor ones. One bedroom had been converted into a bathroom fitted with a mosaic-carved jacuzzi.

At an earlier hearing in Abergavenny Magistrates Court, which could not be reported until now for legal reasons, Carl Harrison, for Brecon Beacons National Park Authority said Davies had destroyed the character of the building – one of the top nine per cent of listed buildings in Wales.

Davies had previously denied any wrongdoing but has now pleaded guilty to five charges under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

The court heard that the renovation work carried out between June 2006 and August 2012 were deliberate breaches of planning law.

Penalties for unlawfully altering a Grade 11 Listed building include a maximum 12-month prison sentence or an unlimited fine. Davies is due to be sentenced on 15 May.

 

Roger Milne

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