Design fails to respect local character and appearance

A mixed use scheme involving a small convenience store and 31 retirement apartments above would fail to respect parts of an urban area in Essex, an inspector convinced that it did not involve good design.

In accepting that there was no need for an impact assessment because the convenience store fell below 2,500 sq.m. threshold as set out in the NPPF, the inspector nonetheless expressed reservations about the design. It would be materially higher than development permitted on an adjacent site and a mansard roof would mean that the set back at the roof line would be little more than one metre. At 53 metres in width it would also be greater than new apartment blocks permitted to the west of the site and the overall bulk would emphasises the site’s prominence. It would appear overly dominant and assertive and the poor design made it unacceptable despite the inspector also concluding that it would not adversely affect the residential amenity of neighbouring residents.

Inspector: Christina Downes; Hearing

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