The appeal property lay within an area of traditional housing, on a junction close to a shopping parade. The proposals involved inserting a small flat-roofed building at the end of the garden next to a similar outbuilding already in use as a barber’s shop. The garden wall would be rebuilt using the same stone but incorporating a shopfront. Noting that it was the generous rear gardens and views over boundary walls that reinforced the spacious and open character of the area, the inspector considered the proposal would materially harm the character and appearance of the conservation area. He found the claimed public benefits of an affordable retail space in an accessible location, with additional employment opportunity, were limited by a lack of evidence that a similar retail use could not be accommodated within one of the existing commercial units.
The inspector also found that the shop would reduce and overlook remaining garden space, harming the living conditions of residents. Along with the harm to the character and appearance of the conservation area he had identified, the inspector decided the scheme conflicted with local and national policy on these matters and dismissed the appeal.
Inspector: D Boffin; Written representations