Living conditions compromised by dwelling design and location

Redeveloping garages and workshops with four dwellings in a north London conservation area would lead to unacceptable living conditions, an inspector decided, after ruling that the loss of an employment site was not objectionable in principle.

In rejecting the council’s claim that the buildings on site were capable of being used for employment purposes, the inspector decided that they were in such a poor physical state as to render them of limited value for securing employment uses, also noting that the site was not specifically allocated for such purposes. The site's redevelopment would also lead to a slight enhancement to the character of the conservation area.

The main issue related to the proximity of flats to the rear of the site, some of which had balconies which faced directly towards the new dwellings. These would be far closer than the 20 metres suggested by the appellant and would lead to mutual overlooking. The only bedroom in each dwelling would be virtually subterranean with no outlook and this persuaded the inspector that a good level of amenity would not be provided.

Inspector: Gwilym Powys Jones; Written representations

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