OBJECTORS hoping to bulldoze a retired couple's modern-style home because it does not fit in with the village setting are taking their case all the way to Whitehall.

Controversy has surrounded doctors Michael and Marjorie Cox's "dream" home in the pretty village of Wick, near Pershore, since they won planning permission for it, in March 2003.

The red-brick house was designed by their architect son David, completed last year and the retired couple, who have lived in Wick for 16 years and are both in their 70s, moved into it in May.

Although an ombudsman's report in November found technical "maladministration" in advertising the application, it ruled this could not have stopped the development going ahead.

Wychavon District Council agreed on Tuesday night to pay objector Edward McMillan-Scott - a Yorkshire MEP - £500 compensation for the failure to publicise the project.

Mr McMillan-Scott, who lives in a nearby listed house, said the council's decision allowed campaigners to take the issue to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

"For months we have been asking councillors to review this development," he said.

"We can now, at last, apply to Whitehall for the proper application of planning law."

If the ODPM agrees to overturn Wychavon's decision, the Cox's home could be bulldozed.

However, a spokesman for the Government office warned it would only be done in "exceptional circumstances" and said they were "unlikely to override local democracy".

Mr McMillan-Scott, along with a group of other residents, claims the property blocks historic views into and out of the village's conservation area.

Marjorie Cox this week told the Evening News she did not expect a quick end to the debate.

"This whole thing is outrageous but we are just trying to enjoy our home," she said.