Replacement flats do not compensate for loss of non-designated heritage asset

Demolition of a detached dwelling and the erection of six flats in a private garden in a residential area of a town in Essex was refused for the loss of a non-designated heritage asset and harm to the character and appearance of the area from the replacement flats.

The house to be demolished comprised a corner, detached dwelling designed in the arts and crafts style by a local architect, part of a group of three and appreciated as an ensemble. The inspector felt the house was an important landmark building in the streetscene and had some association with the social history of the town, and therefore constituted a non-designated heritage asset of noteworthy local significance. Its loss, he concluded, would result in less than substantial harm.

The inspector then considered whether the harm caused by the loss of the building would be compensated for by the quality of its replacement. Whilst the proposed block of flats would present an arts and crafts style which weighed in its favour, the inspector felt the height, siting and massing of the building would appear overly intensive and discordant in the streetscene, harming the character and appearance of the area. In concluding, he felt the environmental harms of the heritage asset's loss and the harm from the proposed replacement's design outweighed the social and economic benefits of the new homes.

Inspector: Graham Chamberlain; Written representations

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