A couple who were told by the council that their newly-painted home was "unacceptable" have launched an appeal.

Last summer, Watford Borough Council failed to back a decision by the owners to turn the colour of the front of their house in Oxhey from yellow to lilac.

A council officer ruled lilac was "harmful" to the surrounding conservation area and "unacceptable in its design", leaving Ian Davis and Kate Codrington with potentially no option but to return their house to its original colour.

The property in Capel Road had been repainted in August 2020 but the couple say they did not know this needed planning permission.

When the council found out about the work, Mr Davis and Ms Codrington were told to submit a retrospective planning application which they were "severely shocked" to find out was subsequently refused in September 2021.

Watford Observer: Kate Codrington outside her houseKate Codrington outside her house

Following the refusal, which went on to receive widespread national media coverage, the owners launched a petition to 'abolish' the conservation area and also recruited a heritage and townscape consultant to help with an appeal, which was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in December.

In her report, consultant Nairita Chakraborty, who visited the property in October, has explained why she believes the council's decision should be overturned.

She acknowledged the council wants to protect Oxhey Village’s "special interest" but indicated the features of other properties within the village have lost its "consistency" and "uniformity".

She said the new lilac colour is not "garish" nor "unsympathetic" to the surrounding Victorian properties nor is it "out of keeping" with the character of the local area.

Watford Observer: The house when it was yellow and then lilac. Credit: Google MapsThe house when it was yellow and then lilac. Credit: Google Maps

The appeal is pending with the Planning Inspectorate with an inspector to decide whether to uphold or dismiss the appeal. It can be found via this link and the case reference is 3288355