DC Casebook: Householder Development - Personal claim for conservatory denied

A partially-built conservatory sited on an elevated platform in a Merseyside conservation area has been judged visually harmful to the character and appearance of the locality.

The structure had been built on an open framework of exposed steel beams and columns supporting timber floor joists. Parts of the sides were finished in timber and the roof, windows and framing were made from UPVC. The council claimed that it was visually jarring and detracted from the host dwelling, one of a pair of well-proportioned semi-detached villas.

The inspector agreed that the overall design and massing of the structure failed to respect the form and character of the existing building and its alien appearance failed to maintain the symmetry of the two dwellings. The fact that it could not be seen from public viewpoints did not undermine the weight that had to be given to its severe impact on the conservation area, he mused.

The appellant claimed that his son had severe learning difficulties and the conservatory provided a space where he could engage in therapeutic activities. These personal circumstances carried significant weight in favour of its retention, the inspector held. However, he noted that the son visited the property relatively infrequently, being cared for by a charitable organisation. Since the permission would run with the land, he concluded that a personal condition would be inappropriate.

DCS Number 100-069-308

Inspector Alan Wood; Hearing

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