DC Casebook: Housing - New Build - Pub loss and doorstep play space fails

Conservation area consent has been rejected for demolition of a building in Kent following a ruling that its loss would undermine the area's character and proposed development would make inadequate play provision.

The site contained a two-storey 1930s pub which had been vacant for some time. Features included oriel windows with leaded lights and a fine staircase linking the ground and first-floor bars. The inspector recognised that the replacement building of 11 flats had been designed to a good standard.

In his view, however, this did not justify the loss of a landmark forming an important part of the historic environment. The appellant had provided little information to support his claim that the premises could not be easily converted to alternative uses, he found. On this basis, he concluded that the loss of an unlisted heritage asset failed to comply with local and national conservation policies.

The proposed building would have a narrow hard-surfaced area to the rear and a roof terrace. The inspector found that neither space would provide a safe and secure environment for young children to play, particularly with no means of monitoring them from living room or kitchen windows.

Although the appellant claimed that the apartments would be suited to young or elderly couples, the inspector saw no guarantee that people with children would not occupy them. He also decided that a unilateral obligation dealing with financial contributions towards, library, adult and social services was unnecessary. The council had not shown a need for the contributions as required under the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010, he held.

DCS Number 100-069-312

Inspector David Green; Hearing

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