Iconic airfield control tower railing replacement rejected

Listed building consent and planning permission have both been denied for the replacement of balcony railings at a former second world war control tower in Bedfordshire which was proposed to be converted to a dwellinghouse.

The two storey building was in a dilapidated state and the appellant claimed that the existing railings were unsafe and could not be retained as part of the conversion. All the railings at first floor and roof level would be replaced with new ones 1.1 metres in height and 0.9 metres apart. But these would be quite different in appearance and height to the existing railings, the inspector noted, and this change would have a considerable effect on the listed building. The existing railings were plain and utilitarian with significant space between them and the plans showed closer spacing with each linked by metal wires. The railings would appear as a modern and unsympathetic addition, the inspector held, which would be at odds with the ‘iconic’ importance of the control tower and its special architectural and historic importance.

Inspector: Tim Wood; Written representations

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