Caroline Newton



Blanc Restaurants Ltd



Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons Church Road Great Milton, OX44 7PD



Listed building consent for internal and external alterations and minor extensions, repair and refurbishment works to the Grade II* Manor House (Amended plans September 2021 and amended plans and information received April and June 2022)



Cathie Scotting






This application for listed building consent is referred to Planning Committee at the discretion of the Development Manager, due to its intrinsic relationship with the accompanying planning application P21/S0343/FUL.



Medieval in origin, but dating largely from the 17th and 20th centuries, the manor house is now listed as Grade II* dating from the C15 with clear C16 and C17 phases as well as later C20 extensions. The listing includes the garden walls. Also on the site is the grade II listed C17 Dovecote, the grade II* listed C16/C17 entrance gates and attached walls and the grade II listed Edwardian entrance gates that form the current vehicular entrance to the site. Most of the site, including the buildings and landscaped gardens are also within the Great Milton Conservation Area.



The GIS extract plan below identifies the listed buildings, walls, gates within the site and adjoining listed buildings, and the Conservation Area.


Conservation Area, Listed buildings and structures























The overall proposals for an expansion to Belmond Le Manoir are described in the accompanying planning report (P21/S0343/FUL) and the proposed works to the listed manor house form a key part of this, providing a replacement and larger conservatory dining extension and several internal refurbishment works to improve the operations of the hotel. The works to these buildings are described detailed in the Heritage Statement and principally comprise:




Ground floor:

i)  Demolition of the existing conservatory

ii) Replacement with a larger conservatory

iii) link extension and relocation of Edwardian bay window with proposed cocktail lounge

iv) Extension of the dining room service area (cafetry) at ground floor ;

v)  Kitchen refurbishment, enlarged store

vi) Provide new guest WC facilities on the ground floor, close to the restaurant

vii)  Creation of new door opening between the lounges

viii) Creation of a new bar where the accessible toilet is presently located

ix) Insertion of new partition at the north end of the proposed cocktail lounge


First floor:

i) A new north facing gable-end extension to accommodate bathrooms associated with the reconfiguration of an existing first and attic floor suite into two suites in this part of the building, one at first floor and one in the attic

ii) opening the wall on the existing stairs and providing a new staircase between first and attic floors to provide the above

iii) Removal of upstairs toilets, reconfiguration of bedroom suite

iv) Internal refurbishment, including repartitioning of bedrooms and lounges at first floor and within the roof space

vi) Reconfiguration of the corridors, pantry and service and administrative areas on the first floor and attic floors



The stables (curtilage listed) are to have a two storey extension in the south west corner near to Church Road and a small single storey extension in the south east corner. This is to provide office and staff facilities.



Further investigations as sought by Historic  England were carried out and information and amended plans were submitted April 2022 (and further clarified in June 2022) to address objections. 


These amendments are:

·         The pitch of the conservatory roof made shallower so that the volume is reduced

·         The conservatory structure altered from a timber frame to a lightweight bronze metal

·         Rebuild the Edwardian bay window further out with a flat roof lead extension linking to the manor house and adjoining the conservatory




Attached are plans of the existing and proposed ground floor (Appendix 1) existing and proposed first floor (Appendix 2), existing and proposed attic floors (Appendix 3) and the proposed elevations of the conservatory (Appendix 4). All of the drawings plans can be viewed on the council’s website.







Great Milton Parish Council

April 2022:

September 2021: Support

February 2021: Support - acknowledges concerns of local residents and is hopeful these concerns will be considered in the further development of the proposal.


Historic England (South East) -

June 2022 (Various emails): That with the amendments sought by condition the scheme represents a low level of harm and are content for this harm to be weighed against public benefits as directed by paragraph 202 of the NPPF.


May 2022: Further information and design development has addressed many, but not all, of previously raised concerns.

Taking all these revisions together we consider that the proposals would now entail a moderate level of harm to the significance of both the manor and conservation area.

We believe that there is scope for further improvements to the design of some elements, which could reduce the impact of the new facilities without compromising the aspirations of the

applicant. If our remaining concerns are satisfactorily addressed, we would be content for your Council to balance the remaining harm against any public benefits associated with the proposals.


Previous comments:

Objection due to the scale of development and its design, which would result in unjustified harm to the significance of a Grade II* listed building and the conservation area. The application does not clearly set out the impact of the proposals on the significance of the grade II* listed building and are not clearly and convincingly justified.


Conservation Officer

Overall, I support the proposals. The amended plans have taken on board concerns and further assessment work has been done to inform internal alterations and ensure no historic fabric is impacted.


Previous comments:

December 2021: Unable to support the applications. The massing of structures remains large compared with the principles discussed at pre-app is still an issue. No revisions regarding proposed alterations to the Manor House itself have been submitted. Issues that require resolution for the listed building are all still outstanding.

CPRE - (Rights of Way) -

Comments made on public right of way




Comments on heritage impacts are reported in the Planning report P21/S0343/O. Several representations have been made in respect of the harm to the listed building.








The site has an extensive history and relevant applications are listed in Appendix 8.

Of the Planning report P21/S343/FUL.





An Environmental Impact Assessment is not required as advised in the Screening Opinion P20/S4593/SCR issued 6 January 2021.





Development Plan Policies




South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2035 (SOLP) Policies:

ENV6 - Historic Environment and Heritage Assets

ENV7 - Listed Buildings



Neighbourhood Plan


There is no made Neighbourhood Plan for Great Milton



Supplementary Planning Guidance/Documents


South Oxfordshire Design Guide 2016 (SODG 2016)


Developer Contributions SPD



National Planning Policy Framework and Planning Practice Guidance



Other Relevant Legislation


·         Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990





The overall proposals would entail extensive development around the Manor

House that forms the heart of Le Manoir. As a Grade II* listed building the Manor House is part of a very select and important group: only approximately 8% of the listed buildings in England merit listing at Grade II* or I.



In paragraph 200, the NPPF and the Development policies advise that any harm to, or loss of, the significance of a designated heritage asset (from its alteration or destruction, or from development within its setting), should require clear and convincing justification. Substantial harm to or loss of:

a) grade II listed buildings, or grade II registered parks or gardens, should be


b) assets of the highest significance, notably scheduled monuments, protected

wreck sites, registered battlefields, grade I and II* listed buildings, grade I and

II* registered parks and gardens, and World Heritage Sites, should be wholly exceptional.



The manor house is of the highest significance and works that would result in harm to this significance should be wholly exceptional. The NPPF advises that in determining applications, local planning authorities should require an applicant to describe the significance of any heritage assets affected, including any contribution made by their setting. The level of detail should be proportionate to the assets’ importance and no more than is sufficient to understand the potential impact of the proposal on their significance.



Following the receipt of further information in April 2022 and subsequent dialogue, Historic England and the council are now satisfied with the level of detail required to assess the level the harm. Amendments have also been submitted to address the harm identified from the earlier proposals concerning the design and scale of the conservatory and the retention of the Edwardian bay window.



In respect of the amended scheme, Historic England advised that the effects on the significance of the listed building would be moderate but could be reduced to low with further changes and information. In relation to the wider site these matters were considered to have been satisfied although Historic England remained concerned about the details of the conservatory. 



The amendments to the conservatory include a shallower pitch for the conservatory and a lighter metal frame. Historic England advised while the proposed switch to a metal frame could be successful, as it would allow for lighter structural members, at present the building looks too utilitarian. The refinements needed could be quite subtle and achieved with careful thought about the proportions of the glazing units and use of moulding profiles to glazing bars. It would also be worth considering giving a little more emphasis to the wall-head in the form of a cornice.



To develop the design further the applicants have advised this would take time in order to involve the services of a structural engineer. In this context and with the agreement of the Local Planning Authority, Historic England have agreed that these intricate design details could be dealt with by condition, and overall, do not think the harm can be reduced further and meet all of the applicant’s aspirations. Accordingly Historic England is content for this harm to be weighed against public benefits as directed by paragraph 202 of the NPPF and for the council to undertake this balancing exercise.



The NPPF advises that where a development proposal will lead to less than substantial harm to the significance of a designated heritage asset, this harm should be weighed against the public benefits of the proposal including, where appropriate, securing its optimum viable use.



The case for public benefits is set out the accompanying planning report. In relation to the listed building works these proposals provide a key element of the overall scheme, enabling more efficient dining and kitchen operations and improvements to accommodation.





In conclusion, the proposed works, subject to acceptable details being provided through conditions, are considered to represent a low level of harm to the manor house. The significance of this historic asset is of the highest order and consent should only be granted in wholly exceptional circumstances. Where there is less than substantial harm

this needs to be weighed against the public benefits. These public benefits are fully explained in the accompanying Planning report P21/S0343/FUL. The proposed works to the listed manor house are integral and therefore necessary to the overall scheme. The conclusion for the overall scheme is that the identified harms are outweighed by the public benefits and officers recommend that listed building consent is granted.





Upon confirmation that the Secretary of State does not wish to issue a direction in respect of the planning application P21/S0343/FUL under section 77 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and the Town and Country Planning (Consultation) (England) (Direction) 2021, the recommendation is that Listed Building Consent is granted subject to the following conditions:






1. Commencement three years - Listed Building Consent

2. Approved Drawings and Documents                           

3. Details of Manor House Conservatory            

4. Samples of Materials for Listed Buildings




Author:        Cathie Scotting 

Tel:               01235 422600

Contact No: