Plans to demolish and rebuild the Norfolk getaway of a shoe-making pioneer have been blocked following fierce opposition from villagers.

The controversial new designs for Brownsea in Holme-next-the-Sea had been branded as "repulsive" by locals, who worried it would harm the heritage of the area.

They called for the home in Beach Road to be protected due to it being "one of the best examples of interwar architecture" and for its historic links with Charles Bennion, a wealthy shoe manufacturer from Leicestershire.

Eastern Daily Press: The existing property (top) along with the new designs of the rebuildThe existing property (top) along with the new designs of the rebuild (Image: West Norfolk Council)

His company, British United Shoe Machinery, became the largest manufacturer of footwear machinery in the world and helped revolutionise the industry.

Eastern Daily Press: Charles Bennion was the founder of British United Shoe Machinery. which supplied machinery to factoriesCharles Bennion was the founder of British United Shoe Machinery. which supplied machinery to factories (Image: Wikipedia)

At a West Norfolk Council planning committee meeting this week, its fate was decided after previous attempts to come to a verdict were delayed following last-minute information coming to light about its historical significance.

An agent for the developer, Chris Lindsey, attempted to persuade councillors that the new design meets the policies of the local plan and that it would bring new life to the "dilapidated" property, making it a more flood-resilient and efficient home.

Planning officers agreed that it would be an improvement to the current property and recommended the revamp be approved.

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However, councillors took a different view.

Eastern Daily Press: Terry Parish, chairman of the Planning CommitteeTerry Parish, chairman of the Planning Committee (Image: BCKLWN)

Chairman of the committee, Terry Parish, called the proposed design "appalling," adding: "It has too much glass."

He also wondered if action could be taken to replace a hedgerow that has already been removed at the site.

While councillor Michael de Whalley worried that having a bedroom on the ground floor would pose a flood risk in the future due to rising sea levels.

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Eastern Daily Press: The road leading to Brownsea in Holme-next-the-SeaThe road leading to Brownsea in Holme-next-the-Sea (Image: West Norfolk Council)

There were calls from councillor Anthony Bubb for committee members to conduct a site visit before making a decision, worrying the developer may appeal due to the decision "not being thorough enough".

However, this was dismissed as being unnecessary due to the body of evidence that had been presented.

When the decision came to a vote, members decided to refuse the application on the grounds it would harm the character of the conservation area.