Public house out of character in historic residential enclave

A public house from a listed residential property in a conservation area in Aberdeen was refused for harm to the established residential character of the area but not to that of the conservation area or the listed building specifically.

The listed building was in an historic area of the city near the university and it was proposed to convert the ground floor of the vacant late 18th century dwelling into two bars with a servery and toilets. The reporter noted the proposal would not affect the internal layout of the listed building and the only alteration to the outside was the introduction of a ventilation duct to the rear which he considered would not detract from its special architectural or historic interest or the appearance and character of the conservation area.  

However, the council had a community sites and facilities policy which covered the appeal site, and this stated that any proposals for development or changes of use, whether or not for the community use would be opposed if a likely result would be significant erosion of the character of the area or the vitality of the local community.

The reporter felt the property was located in a predominantly residential enclave with a village community character within the wider university campus and this residential element was important to the character and community identity of the area. This was despite a chaplaincy use to one side of the property and a university institutional use to the other. The reporter considered that the potential for noise and disturbance late at night was a real and legitimate concern on the part of surrounding residents and institutional buildings either side, whose quiet enjoyment of their homes and businesses could be disrupted by the introduction of a new public house in their midst. He concluded the proposal was contrary to the above adopted local plan policy on both grounds.

Reporter: Timothy Brian; Written representations

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