Theatre director's planning bid branded 'an attempt to rewrite history'

Arcady in Holt Road, Cley, which is owned by theatre director Adam Spiegel, has caused outrage local

Arcady in Holt Road, Cley, which is owned by theatre director Adam Spiegel, has caused outrage locally Pictures: David Bale - Credit: Archant

A planning application by the owners of a house built without proper permission has been described by opponents an "attempt to rewrite history".

London theatre producer Adam Spiegel and his wife Gay, the owners of Arcady, a house and swimming pool in Cley, have applied to North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) to replace a drawing from their original bid, which was permitted after an appeal in 2014.

They say the design, made in 2012, was "incorrectly drawn".

A view towards Arcady from the village green in Cley. 

A view towards Arcady from the village green in Cley. - Credit: Planning documents

But objectors claim a substitute drawing shows the building "as it now stands" and not as it was allowed on appeal.

The application is the latest chapter in a long-running saga.

In 2013, NNDC rejected the Spiegels' bid to build a two-storey house and swimming-pool on Holt Road as the design was "inappropriate" for Cley Conservation Area. 

A year later, the decision was overturned by the Planning Inspectorate, with permission granted on the condition the development had to be carried out in accordance with the drawings in the original plan.

But in August 2019, the council served an enforcement notice on the couple to demolish all the buildings on site because the development was "materially different" to the approved plan and of "increased scale, height and mass".

The owners then appealed to the planning inspectorate against the enforcement notice and entered into a mediation process with the council. The outcome was a new application proposing changes to the building which would prevent it from being demolished.

Above, an image of how Arcady currently looks, and below, showing some of the proposed changes,

Above, an image of how Arcady currently looks, and below, showing some of the proposed changes, including the removal of a ramp and changing the height of some sections of the roof. - Credit: Planning documents

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Seven objections have been raised against the latest application.

One neighbour, referring to the proposal as "bizarre", said: "It is not possible to re-write history in this way, and the ramifications arising from any attempt to change documents which formed part of a planning appeal decision seven years ago would be far-reaching."

Another resident said: "If granted the effect will be to approve the building as it stands."

Dr Victoria Holliday, a district councillor, said: "The drawing shows the building as built, not as allowed on appeal." 

This newspaper has attempted to contact Mr Spiegel for comment. 

A NNDC spokesperson said the council is in mediation with the applicants and both parties have agreed there were "inaccuracies in one of the drawings submitted for the historic application".