Private disabled access ramp harms conservation area

An attempt by a disabled resident living in a riverside London borough to secure permission for a ramp to provide suitable access to a boathouse was rejected by an inspector for a second time.

Previous linked appeals against an enforcement notice and a refusal of planning permission for metal ramps at the site had been dismissed on the basis of their effect on the riverside conservation area. The current proposals had added timber façade railings but, in the inspector’s assessment, these changes did not overcome the harmful effect of the bulky structure or disguise the metal finish of the ramps. She decided the appearance of the ramps and platform would not be sufficiently improved to the extent that they would no longer be visually detrimental to the surrounding conservation area.

In reaching her decision to dismiss the appeal, the inspector took into account the benefits which the ramp provided in terms of the appellant’s ability to participate in rowing and the health advantages that flowed from that, and had regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty contained in the Equality Act 2010. However, on balance she decided the appellant’s circumstances did not outweigh the significant heritage harm she had found and, rejecting a suggestion to make a permission personal, dismissed the appeal.

Inspector: Sarah Dyer; Written representations


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