The Wyndthorpe Hall depot site is situated at one end of the Wyndthorpe Hall estate. It was previously used by the local authority as a vehicle maintenance and repair depot but was sold in 2017 and is now a vehicle repair and spraying centre. The client proposed a new building for vehicle storage and repair but the local authority argued that this was not an appropriate use of the site on grounds relating primarily to the countryside policy, and to the heritage significance of the early 19th century Grade II listed Wyndthorpe Hall (now a care home) and its park which contains one of only two ornamental landscapes in the Doncaster area and is of local historical interest.
I determined the heritage values and significance of the different elements of the estate (Wyndthorpe Hall, the former stables, the nursing home, lodge building, landscape and the depot site), and the impact the 20th and 21st century changes had on the overall heritage significance. Wyndthorpe Hall, the former stables and the grounds have aesthetic and historical value and a medium level of significance that is important locally / regionally, and which reflects the numerous adaptations and extensions that have occurred since the late 20th century. The construction of 20th century buildings on the site has had at best, a neutral impact on the significance of the estate. The heavy screening (both natural and built) between the depot site and the rest of the estate, means there is no visual connection between the depot area and Wyndthorpe Hall, but The Lodge building and depot site do still have a negative impact on the aesthetic of the estate as a whole. This however, is to a level that is of less than substantial harm.
I advised of the need to minimise the impact of the proposed development on the wider site and its buildings. In view of the countryside policy and the site itself, the local authority had suggested an agricultural aesthetic for the proposed new building, and I provided precedent images to demonstrate approaches and materials that would be acceptable. I briefed the landscape architect on the need to provide a design for hard and soft landscaping to improve the appearance of the depot site entrance area, provide planted screening from the wider site and Wyndthorpe Hall, and improve the biodiversity of the site to align with the ethos of the parkland areas.