The two storey, two-bedroomed terraced property had already been converted into a letting agent’s office at ground floor level, but the proposal would also involve the construction of a two-storey infill extension at the rear to provide a self-contained one-bedroom flat. The inspector held the extension, which would occupy the full-width of the terraced property at the rear and abut the neighbour's boundary in part, would dominate the rear gardens of the line of terraces, appear out of keeping with the locality and result in a loss of outlook for the neighbours. Finally, at only 37 metres squared in size, the inspector held the proposed flat would not meet nationally described space standards adversely affecting the living conditions of future occupants.
An application for an award of costs against the council was refused, the inspector considering the council had not acted unreasonably in refusing the scheme based on the above concerns plus the loss of a two-bedroomed house in an accessible and sustainable location. The latter issue arose from conflicting appeal decisions on changes of use of dwellings in the vicinity, but the inspector opined the council had acted in good faith in originally recommending refusal of the change of use and they had only accepted this aspect of the proposal based on the fact the council had subsequently approved the change of use with a single storey extension for the flat after the current appeal had been submitted.
Inspector: D Hilton-Brown; Written representations