Safety of community car park users harmed by residential conversion

A proposal to convert two listed buildings in Hampshire to provide four additional dwellings has been refused as it would severely harm the safety of users of a community car park.

The buildings to be converted were located on an estate on the edge of a village. The estate included a number of buildings which were grouped around a central courtyard, including a grade II* listed manor house and three grade II listed outbuildings, one of which was used as a function space and wedding venue. The estate was also adjacent to a grade II* listed church and was close to the village pond which formed a focal point in a conservation area within which all the buildings were located.

An inspector found that the appellant was making a concerted effort to improve the estate’s condition and was trying to secure its viability. Also of moderate benefit would be the improvement to the setting of the listed church and the character and appearance of the conservation area. However, she concluded that a proposed access for the additional dwellings and for refuse collection would severely harm the safety of users of a car park and public footpath. Furthermore, the proposed conversions would result in significant harm by failing to make adequate provision for affordable housing in the district. The harm that would be caused, in terms of noise to the living conditions of the future occupiers of one of the proposed dwellings added further weight to her concerns. In the absence of any financial information to show that the development was necessary for the continued viability of the estate the moderate benefits of the scheme were found to be outweighed by the identified harm.

Inspector: Sarah Colebourne; Written representations


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