A COUPLE have been refused permission to build a “bold and contemporary” house beside a lake in the New Forest.

Ian and Helena McGrath lodged an appeal after an application relating to a site at Woolmer Lane, Blashford, was thrown out by New Forest District Council in June last year.

But government-appointed planning inspector Rachael Pipkin has upheld the council’s decision.

Ms Pipkin said: “The plans indicate that the existing dwelling provides three bedrooms and the proposed house, albeit within a considerably more spacious layout, provides a four-bedroom dwelling.

“The proposed development would amount to a loss of a modestly-sized house from the rural housing stock.

“The design of the building is clearly intended to be bold and contemporary and in this respect it succeeds.

“However this modern and square design, incorporating large areas of glazing at first floor level, does not clearly relate to its rural setting.

“The house would be harmful to the character and appearance of the countryside.”