Substantial demolition of architect-designed house accepted

The partial reconstruction and significant addition and alteration of a dwelling in an Oxford conservation area was allowed with no harm to the appearance and character of the conservation area or the living conditions of the adjoining occupier with regard to privacy, outlook or shading.

The house had been designed by a well-known Victorian architect but had been passed over for listing by Historic England as not one of the architect’s finest examples. The proposal involved the demolition of a substantial part of the building, including most of the façade, and a large two storey extension projecting beyond the rear elevation with basement excavation. Regardless of the removal of most of the façade and the changes to the fenestration affecting the understanding of the property’s function, the inspector felt the scheme would still maintain the historic appearance of the property and was acceptable, because the use of reclaimed bricks was proposed leaving the effect on the wider area largely unaltered. 

With respect to the rear extension’s overbearing and overshadowing impact on a neighbour’s bay window, again despite the extension contravening a 45-degree guideline in the adopted local plan and causing loss of morning sunlight, the inspector held the proposal was still acceptable as it resulted in only "minor infringements" of the guidelines.

Inspector: M Bale; Written representations

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