Expert drafted in over historic house row

Stanley Mackintosh outside his home, St Margaret's House, Kirkgate.
Stanley Mackintosh outside his home, St Margaret's House, Kirkgate.

An independent planning expert will be appointed to help solve a bitter planning row between the owner of an iconic Ripon building and the borough council.

A third-party conservation and listed building expert will determine whether the work of Stanley Mackintosh – who has lived in Grade II listed St Margaret’s House on Kirkgate for 11 years and has continued to renovate his home despite warnings from Harrogate Borough Council – breaches planning laws.

“It is obviously a fair resolution,” said Mr Mackintosh, who wants to change the internal layout of the former bookshop to create a self-contained annex with rentable rooms to provide him with a retirement income as part of a house share.

“Subject to legal advice and proper safeguards, I am minded to accept this compromise,” he said.

Under section 7 of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, it is an offence to carry out work to a listed building if it affects its character as a building of special architectural or historical interest. Harrogate Borough Council said the offer to appoint an expert is conditional on Mr Mackintosh stopping work on his house immediately.