Upward extension of locally listed building refused

An additional floor providing five flats on top of a turreted landmark building in the heart of an outer London metroland conservation area was found by an inspector to cause unacceptable heritage harm.

The distinctive 1930s building occupied a gateway site on a junction close to a listed underground station and the inspector observed that its glazed turret feature and white render set it apart from other buildings. The building had been locally listed and contained a mix of commercial and residential uses.

In the inspector’s opinion the proposed development would undermine the integrity of the original design of the building to an unacceptable degree, disrupting the roofline and although the top of the turret would still be seen above the new roof, it would no longer appear to float above it. Acknowledging the building was not statutorily listed, he still considered it a prominent and important part of the conservation area and contributed to the settings of listed buildings in the vicinity.

The appellant claimed public benefits would flow from the development and offset the less than substantial harm to heritage assets identified by the inspector. These benefits included new homes on a brownfield site in a highly sustainable location, investment in the building and a reduction in roof clutter from the relocation of existing banks of telecommunications. The inspector disagreed these benefits were sufficient to outweigh harm to any of the heritage assets and he concluded that as the proposals conflicted with both national and local planning policies in this respect, he dismissed the appeal.

Inspector: S Lee; Written representations

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