A family is considering upping sticks and allowing their dream home to become a holiday let after being angered by a petition launched after builders “mistakenly” put imported slate on their roof.
Charlotte MacRae-Kelly, her husband Jack and five-year-old son Charlie had been looking forward to moving into semi-detached 2 Peet Howe, Longthwaite, in the Borrowdale Valley, after extensively renovating the property.
But when builders put Brazilian Elterdale slates on the roof in error it prompted a “no to imported slate” petition, launched by a neighbour, which has been signed by 200 people.
Borrowdale Parish Council also objected and the Lake District National Park Authority said it had received complaints about non-compliance with planning permissions granted for the property.
It said that “formal action is to be taken to remedy the breach of the planning control”.
Mrs MacRae-Kelly agrees that imported slate should not be used on properties in the Lake District but was unaware that the slates placed on her roof were not sourced locally.
She said her builder had been under the impression that the slates were local as the same had been used at other properties in the national park.
The couple are now going to rectify the situation and spend £17,000 to have the roof slates replaced but are not sure whether they will live at the house, which they bought from Charlotte’s grandmother, and are instead considering giving it up as a holiday let.
“I agree that the slates are not blending in and it’s not right and we will be correcting it,” said 33-year-old Mrs MacRae-Kelly, a geography teacher who does supply work locally.
“But to have the locals start a petition and take to social media to rant and rave about the roof, rather than come and speak to us about it, is really upsetting.
“It has just got out of hand. Nobody locally has taken the time to come and speak with us. It has all been done through social media which can be interpreted differently.
“I left my job in Glasgow two years ago for this opportunity to do up this property and renovate it and keep it in the family with the intention of eventually living there.
“I have been so excited about doing the whole project but now it has become one big stress and I can’t imagine us living down there at the moment.”
The petition calls on the national park to keep cottages and farms looking the way they have for hundreds of years and not to allow “cheap bluish slate from Brazil or China” to be used.