Ware Farm Planning Application Submitted

From: “Middleton, Amy” <Amy.Middleton@nationaltrust.org.uk>
Date: 15 February 2017 at 15:17:27 GMT
To: Chris-savory <chris-savory@btconnect.com>
Subject: Ware Farm

Dear Chris
I wanted to let you know that we have submitted the planning application for Ware Farm today. I have been told that it currently takes 1-2 weeks for applications to be registered. When it is live I will send you a link so it can be shared with the Lyme Regis Society.
Thank you for your help in enabling us to get to this stage.
Kind regards

Amy Middleton MSc MRICS
Estate Manager
South Somerset, West Dorset and Knightshayes

Ware Farm Restrictive Covenants Will Be In Place

On 16 Nov 2016, at 11:14, Middleton, Amy <Amy.Middleton@nationaltrust.org.uk> wrote:

Dear Chris

I can confirm that it is still our intention to place restrictive covenants on the site to ensure the detailed plans are adhered to.

Kind regards


Amy Middleton MSc MRICS
Estate Manager
South Somerset, West Dorset and Knightshayes
01392 883108

Dear Amy

One issue not covered in your letter is the question of a covenant placed on the development site requiring the purchaser to adhere to the detailed plans that the NT is submitting for planning approval.

During our discussions, Helen was very keen for such a covenant to be created, in order to create certainty regarding the actual house to be built. For our part the Society would wish to see this put in place as part of the sale particulars and embodied in the conveyance in due course.

I trust this remains the position of the NT and would like confirmation that this is indeed the intention.

Kind regards


Lyme Regis Society

Ware Farm proposed development

We have recently received a letter and drawings from the National Trust showing a new design for the Ware Farm proposed development. Please review the following documents for full information:

Ware Farm – Lyme Regis Society letter

Ware Farm – architectural drawings

Ware Farm Update

On 26 Aug 2016, at 10:09, Email from Amy Middleton

Dear Chris

Helen is now on leave and has asked me to respond to your email.
We have met with the architect and are awaiting revised designs from him.
The inalienability proposal has been approved by our regional and national boards and is now just waiting to be presented to the board of Trustees. They do not meet over the summer holidays but we are hoping to get it on the agenda for the September meeting.
We will let you know as soon as we have an update.

Kind regards Amy
Amy Middleton MSc MRICS Estate
Manager South Somerset, West Dorset and Knightshayes

Patron of Lyme Regis Society

Dear Members

I am delighted to inform you that Sir Ghillean Prance has agreed to become Patron of the Lyme Regis Society. As you might know, he is one of the worlds leading scientists and also lives in Lyme Regis. 


Lyme Regis/St George’s Twinning Association

The current series of talks to mark the 20th anniversary of the Lyme Regis/St George’s Twinning Association and recent tripling with historic Jamestowne,Virginia will continue on Thursday 28th July.

Twinning committee member John Dover will talk about the ground breaking archaeological discoveries and the development of our current understanding of the role of James Fort(later Jamestowne)in the birth of English America and formation of the British Empire.

Mr Dover, with added historic context provided by local historian Peter Lacey,will be featuring the Channel 4 programme’Time Team Special-America’s Birthplace’,the contribution of Admiral Sir George Somers,former MP,mayor and native of Lyme Regis and updating on future plans and opportunities for Lyme,St George’s Bermuda and Jamestowne.

The talk will will be held in the Woodmead Halls at 2.30pm.Admission is free but donations to the twinning association would be welcome.Tea and coffee will be available and all are welcome.

Ware Farm Proposals – The latest News

Since the meeting at Woodmead Hall there has been an exchange of emails between The Lyme Regis Society and The National Trust. These are reproduced here and cover our feedback to the meeting and the subsequent followup. In reverse chronological order:

Subject: Inalienability
From: Mann, Helen
Sent: Monday, June 6, 2016 1:20 PM
To: Chris Savory

Dear Chris

Just to let you know we have now completed the papers re inalienability.  These papers will go forward to SW projects and information board (SWPIB) on the 28th June.  If the paper is successful at that board it will then go on to National PIB and then the board of Trustees.  This process could take more than 3 months depending on holiday sittings for each of the boards.
I will keep you informed of progress

Helen Mann
General Manager, West and North Dorset

From: Chris Savory
Sent: Monday, May 30, 2016 9:15 AM
To: Mann, Helen

Dear Helen

Many thanks for your note and for our subsequent telephone conversation. While disappointed, I can fully understand the imperatives driving the disposal option. Just to reiterative our remaining concern relates to the design and impact of the proposed property on the site of the redundant farm buildings. We are pleased that you have instructed your architect to look again at the design and very much hope that a design can be created that meets all of the various concerns expressed at our meeting. Maintaining screening will also be important to the solution.

We look forward to hearing of the timescale for securing inalienability of the land outside of the development boundary, and very much hope that an amicable design solution can be found.

Kind regards

Lyme Regis Society

From: Mann, Helen
Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2016 8:37 AM
To: Chris Savory

Dear Chris

Many thanks for your email

The National Trust would like to further pursue the disposal of this land and therefore we have instructed our Architect to look again at the design to try and accommodate all of the concerns highlighted below. Unfortunately the architect is about to move office and then have a holiday so the earliest we can look at this is end of June with the likelihood that we will be back in contact Mid July.

We will action the application for declaration of inalienability for the land outside the development boundary and I am seeking confirmation of the timescale for this via Amy and other internal consultants. I will keep you informed of progress.

Thank you for your continued support


Helen Mann
General Manager, West and North Dorset

Subject: WARE FARM Feedback to the proposals by the National Trust
From: Chris Savory
Sent: 20 May 2016 18:20
To: Mann, Helen

Dear Helen

Very many thanks to both you and Amy for your presentation yesterday, and for answering the various points and questions raised by Society Members. I said I would write to you conveying the views of Society Members, a number of whom are also Ware residents.

The first point to make is relief and thanks that you have dropped the original proposal to dispose of the triangular field and that you will now seek to obtain inalienable status for this land as for all other agricultural land in this holding. We would request that this inalienability be secured as quickly as possible and preferably before any sale of the smaller proposed building plot. Secondly we acknowledge that you have modified the plans for the proposed house on the site of the redundant farm buildings by making a welcome reduction to the footprint, but we still have serious reservations.

Viewed from Ware Lane, the visual impact of the proposed house conveys the sense of a single storey structure, but the height of the roof and large block chimney are not in sympathy with its surroundings and neighbouring properties. This visual impact is even more dramatic viewed from the south elevation, which is where most walkers would view the house.

As you know, during the meeting, the suggestion was put forward that an alternative to selling the site with detailed planning permission for the construction of a house, would be for the National Trust to demolish the farm buildings and incorporate the site into the agricultural holding and seek inalienable status, making the entire holding inalienable. If this could be done in a way that maintained access for the farmer, allowed him to use the site as a sheep pen, while landscaping the whole with suitable walls and trees, this would greatly add to the amenity of the site both for local residents and all those using the footpath close by.

It is recognised that this would incur a cost to the NT, but a reasonable sum could be provided by LRS Members and local residents to meet this cost. This solution would be the most favoured outcome, and the one most closely in line with the expectations that accompanied the fund raising by the LRS in 1987, when it was widely reported that no housing of any sort would be permitted.

If this outcome is not possible and the NT wishes to pursue the current proposal, we would wish to see further significant changes to both reduce the height of the proposed house and omit the proposed chimney. We also would reiterate how important it is to retain as many as possible of the semi-mature oak trees surrounding the site to provide both visual screening and an important natural habitat.

We very much hope that you can accommodate one of these solutions with a strong preference for the demolition and retention option. We also hope that it proves possible to avoid a potentially adversarial position with the NT, which we feel would have serious reputational risks for the NT.

Kind regards

Chris Savory
Lyme Regis Society


Ware Cliffs Proposed Deveopment Plans

Please find below links to the National Trust Development Plans for Ware Cliffs followed by the accompanying letter received from Helen Mann:

Elevation drawings – version 2

Site plan – version 2

Floor plan – version 1

Setting elevations – version 2

Floor plan – version 2

Dear All

Following our meeting on the 14th April I am now in a position to update you on progress. We have listened to the group’s comments and worked hard to accommodate as many of these as we can. 

One of the largest areas of concern was the triangle of land which we had proposed to sell with the building plot. We have reviewed this plan and now propose that only the area outlined in red on the attached site plan is included within the planning application and eventually sold.  You will see that this excludes the triangle of land, which we intend to declare inalienable. I cannot guarantee that the Board of Trustees will accept this declaration, but I see no reason why the recommendation for inalienability would be denied.

We have also asked the architect to review the plans for the house and I have attached amended drawings. We have scaled back the footprint of the property which has reduced the bulk of the building. If you compare the original floor plan to version 2 you will see that the eastern elevation has been shortened, reducing the size of the kitchen and living room. Please note that the lines on the floor plan in the field are contour lines and are not indicative of fencing.

The primary reason for the National Trust wanting to dispose of this property is to remove the liability of the redundant farm buildings. These buildings have no agricultural use or vernacular interest. At some point in the near future they will become an environmental hazard due to the asbestos roofs and will require significant investment to remedy this. Disposing of this property will allow us to generate new funds for conservation work, some of which we are currently unable to fund.

I hope you will be able to support these amendments so that we can move to a formal submission to the planning authority. If anyone has any questions do please come back to me.


Helen Mann

General Manager, West and North Dorset

Ware Farm – A letter to members




 As mentioned at the Annual General Meeting, the Society has been consulted by the National Trust concerning development proposals at Ware Farm. 

By way of background, in 1987 the Society organised in short order a fund raising campaign to assist the National Trust acquire Ware Farm. This campaign raised £27,000 towards the £38,000 purchase price. It is clear from our archives and press reports at the time, it was the intention that the National Trust would retain the whole of the land in perpetuity for the benefit of the general public. 

It is important to understand that the gift of cash to acquire land in these circumstances does not, of itself, make the land free from the threat of development. It is the National Trust that can declare land inalienable, meaning it is free of the threat of being sold or developed, unless as a result of an Act of Parliament. 

While the National Trust has declared most of the Ware Farm land inalienable, it has not done so in respect of the site containing the farm buildings and the adjacent triangular field, which it considers as investment properties. 

I attended a meeting with Richard Nicholls, Chair of Dorset CPRE and local Ware residents with Helen Mann General Manager of the North & West Dorset Region in mid-April to discuss their proposals. Most of these proposals are against the intention expressed in 1987, and as such are opposed by the Society. However as a result of these strongly expressed objections, the National Trust are rethinking their proposals. 

I am pleased to say that Helen Mann has agreed to present the revised proposals at a special meeting of Society Members and their guests. While the purpose of this meeting is to consult Society Members we are conscious that there is potentially wider interest in what the National Trust is proposing.

Therefore without wishing to exclude anyone those who are intending to attend should be as guests of Members. There will be no charge for this meeting.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at this meeting. If you wish to communicate with me in lieu of attendance or in addition to attending please email me at chairman@lymeregissociety.org.uk

 With kind regards

Chris Savory

PS. Please note that, due to the difficulty of communicating with all our members at short notice in these circumstances, it has been decided that in future all such communication will be by email. Please ensure that the Society always has your current email address by emailing membership@lymeregissociety.org.uk


Diary Dates for Autumn 2016

At the Woodmead Hall:

  • Tuesday 27th September
    “The ‘new’ Shute House”
    - a talk by Maureen Turner M.A.
  • Tuesday 25th October
     “Maintaining the character of Lyme Regis”
    - a workshop with Peter Coe
  • Tuesday 29th November
     ”Beavers in Devon- restoring wetlands the natural way”
    - a talk by Mark Elliott
  • Tuesday 13th December
     ”The Lyme Regis Brewery at The Town Mill”
    – a talk by Julian Shaw
All meetings start at 2.30pm at the Woodmead Hall. Admission to talks is free for Lyme Regis Society and U3A members and £3.00 for visitors


At the Guildhall:

Heritage Open Days at Lyme Regis Guildhall will be taking place on the 9th, 11th and 12th September.