A resident from Corsham is worried about the effect of black mould on his family after Wiltshire Council has given him six months to remove rendered cladding from his home.

Tim Stephenson, the owner of a house on Pickwick Road, claims the council has refused to engage in a conversation after he was issued with an enforcement notice in February 2023 regarding the alterations made to his property.

Mr Stephenson had previously been granted planning permission in 2009 for works including an extension and the replacement of the exterior render of the house.

Although he finished the extension at the time, the rendering of the original home was delayed.

Wiltshire Times: The house before the alterations.The house before the alterations. (Image: Tim Stephenson)

Approximately ten years later, Mr Stephenson completed the work.

For energy efficiency and to combat existing damp issues in the home, the front of the building was fitted with insulation prior to being rendered.

According to Wiltshire Council, the “additional layer means that the walls project further than the eaves of the roof and the coping stones on the verges.”

It added: “As a result of the vivid colouring, proportion and detailing, the dwelling stands out in the street scene and significantly harms the heritage assets and their setting by detracting from the dominant vernacular form.”

Mr Stephenson applied for retrospective planning permission but this was refused because the cladding was considered to be “highly unsympathetic” and harmful to the Corsham Conservation Area.

The owner decided to appeal both the refusal and the council’s enforcement notice, but on February 7, the Planning Inspectorate dismissed the appeals and ruled that the cladding should be removed within six months.

Mr Stephenson says he has told the council that he is willing to change the colouring and aesthetic of the cladding but that his offer has been ignored.

He described the situation as “very stressful” and explained that there were weeks where he was “barely sleeping.”

He said: “You don’t wish to be on the wrong side of the law.

“We had no intention of upsetting our neighbours, the local community, or indeed anybody.”

Mr Stephenson has started a petition that seeks support from other residents in Wiltshire.

He noted that the insulation had solved a mould issue that his family had dealt with for over 20 years.

He said: “We’ve done all of the things that you do, the anti-mould treatment, frequently applied the mould-proof paint…

“We’d consistently failed to do anything more than keep it under control in the whole time that we’d lived here.”

He added that he was concerned by the impact that the mould returning would have on his children.

He said: “My desire would be to say, well, look, we've got streets of houses like this that are all cold and damp and that are all emitting tons of carbon and they're not suitable for heat pumps as a result of their original construction.

“How are we collectively as a society going to solve this problem?”

“My ideal outcome would be that we could sit down with the council and work out something that could be an exemplar for a design which they're happy with and which could, at the same time, point the way towards a decarbonised future.”

Wiltshire Council were approached for comment and Councillor Nick Botterill, Cabinet Member for Development Management, said: “The issues raised by the owner of the property on Pickwick Road were all matters considered during the formal appeals process by the Planning Inspectorate who dismissed the appeals and ruled that the property should be restored to its former condition within six months.”