Residents complain as MP builds pool next to church

Sat 23 Apr 2016
By Aaron James

Villagers in Somerset are complaining that an MP's new swimming pool is blocking the view to their Grade-I-listed church.

John Penrose, the Conservative MP for Weston-Super-Mare, built the pool next to his home in Winscombe.

It was originally meant to have grass on its roof to help it blend in, but instead has a metal roof made of zinc which is more than 62 foot long.

Some residents in Winscombe say it's blocking people from seeing St James the Great church (below) in the village from the famous Mendip Hills.

Church of England


Church of England


One villager told the Daily Mail: "I think it is really awful right next to the lovely church.

"It is hideous compared to the beautiful, historical buildings next to it.

"I walk up the side of the church all the time. We take the boys up to the woods up there to play.

"It's a very well-used footpath and that walk has been affected."

Some argue John Penrose's decision to the build the pool is hypocritical, given that he has previously called for the formal protection of heritage views in Britain.

In 2013, he said: "We already preserve the best individual historic buildings by Listing them, so why can’t we do the same to protect the look of an entire street or neighbourhood too?

"By protecting the best, most beautiful bits - your favourite winter walks, and mine - from being casually destroyed today, we will make them better places to live and work tomorrow as well."

A spokesman for John Penrose has said that North East Somerset Council approved the building of his pool on two separate occasions.

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