The inspector noted that the most attractive parts of the conservation area were characterised by late Victorian houses set in narrow plots of considerable depth. Where the proposed scheme was situated differed in that it related to large, modern properties in large plots. The existing former school building to be demolished made a negative contribution to the conservation area and so its loss was not considered to be harmful.
The inspector held the proposed scheme read more in context with properties outside the conservation area than with those within it and that the site was not a prominent or gateway one. He held the proposal was contemporary and not pastiche and represented an appropriate design response to its context, generally in scale and proportion to the properties around. He concluded the proposal would preserve the character and appearance of the conservation area and there was therefore no need for a balancing assessment of the public benefits of the scheme.
Inspector: Jason Whitfield; Hearing