DC Casebook: Housing: Conversion - Viewing gallery flat conversion backed

A 19th-floor viewing area at a block of flats in east London has been judged suitable for conversion to residential accommodation following a ruling that it is not part of communal amenity space.

The 20-storey building formed part of a wider redevelopment scheme granted permission in 2005 comprising 225 homes in several buildings. The viewing area contained two small balconies and a fully enclosed area identified in the approved plans as a viewing platform. The appellant maintained that apart from the balconies, the area did not form part of the total amenity space required.

The inspector found significant areas of communal amenity space within convenient walking distance, including several parks, community and sports facilities. The limited balcony space did not justify withholding permission despite council claims that viewing platforms formed part of the high-quality design, he ruled. The scheme would not adversely affect the building's external appearance, generate a need for additional parking or create an undesirable precedent, he concluded.

DCS Number 100-069-175

Inspector Gary Deane; Written representations.

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