The scheme comprised 72 flats, 20 family houses and a community building containing a day care centre and care home. The council relied on a unitary development plan policy indicating that 55 per cent of the units should be for families. It referred to a draft design guide for housing in London which suggested that some units identified as suitable for families fail to meet minimum space standards.
The inspector decided that little weight could be placed on the guide. Moreover, he opined that failure to meet the standards did not render the units incapable of family occupation. He noted that 22 per cent of the total were agreed between the parties as being suitable for families. This percentage would almost double if two-bedroom ground-floor flats were included and triple if first-floor flats were included. In his opinion, an adequate range of family dwellings would be provided.
He decided that the impact on the area's character and appearance would be acceptable. While some room sizes would fall below the minimum in the draft guidelines, he gave this objection little weight. In any event, the deficiencies were relatively slight and would not adversely affect occupiers' ability to use the properties in a safe and convenient manner. The impact on the highway network was acceptable and a planning obligation dealt with financial contribution, he noted.
DCS Number 100-068-733
Inspector Steve Amos; Inquiry.