Conservation area consent had been granted for the demolition of a retaining wall to allow construction of commercial uses and ten apartments. Since the scheme was approved in 2006, a building had been erected on adjoining land and a new design guide had been published. The council asserted that the interrelationship between the two schemes required revisions to the design in line with the guidance.
The inspector noted that the design of the adjoining building and its relationship to the mixed-use scheme had been fully considered in granting permission and did not comprise a significant material change in circumstances. Similarly, she considered that while the informal design guidance had only limited weight, its objectives were actually met by the approved scheme.
The appellant was entitled to extend the period for implementation unless the council could demonstrate that circumstances had materially altered, she asserted. The government advises that planning authorities should take a constructive approach and only consider refusal if there has been a "significant" change, she noted. There had been no change in the development plan policies and the council had failed to justify its refusal of an extension with convincing evidence, she determined.
DCS Number 100-069-493
Inspector Zoe Hill; Hearing