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Stroud Council backs down over ‘Swedish Houses’

Swedish House
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Stroud Council has withdrawn five applications to overclad so-called ‘Swedish Houses’ after the plan to alter the appearance of the post-war homes sparked outrage

The Gloucestershire local authority said it would work with planners before resubmitting proposals for the prefabricated wooden homes, which have distinctive vertical timber planking façades.

It comes after heritage body The Twentieth Century Society wrote to the council warning of a ‘substantial harmful impact’ on the appearance of the houses from the proposed cladding (see AJ 04.01.17).

A spokesman for Stroud Council’s housing department said: ‘Some initial concerns were raised about the proposed materials, so we decided to withdraw the applications, consult further with the planning department, then submit revised plans at a later date.’

The five planning applications asked permission to add an ‘external wraparound external wall insulated render system’ to about 17 homes in Dursley, Wotton-Under-Edge, The Camp and Painswick.

Twentieth Century Society conservation adviser Tess Pinto said all the applications concerned kit-build homes imported into Britain in 1945 and often assembled by prisoners of war.

In a letter to the council, Pinto had written: ‘The existence of a number of well-preserved groups of Swedish Houses in Stroud is a remarkable survival, and we are concerned that these applications will have a substantial and harmful impact on their appearance.

‘The society urges that these applications are withdrawn and that alternatives are seriously considered.’

Pinto today said that the society would wait to see the revised applications from the council before commenting further.

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