Concrete plant would spoil views from public places

A concrete batching plant has been refused on open land in south-west London for harm to the visual appearance and character of the area despite the site being located within an industrial area. The proposal would include the construction of industrial plant to a height of 15.8 metres and comprise a ground feed hopper, an aggregate feed conveyor, wedge pit, water tanks, mixer house and loading point, batch control cabin and covered overhead storage bins and integrated cement silos.

The council had accepted the principal of an industrial use at this site but had refused the proposal on the grounds of its visual effect on the surrounding area which, aside from the immediate commercial uses, was frequented by the public using nearby riverside walks, public open space, a cemetery and nature parks. In the inspector’s view the appearance of the proposal would be functional in the extreme and visually harsh and would stand out due to its scale and form. He found the appearance of the plant would have significant adverse visual effects on the users of the majority of the nearby publicly accessible areas which he found unacceptable.

The inspector weighed the potential benefits of the proposal in reaching a conclusion on the case; these included the employment generation, the use of industrial land and the location of the proposal close to points of demand but found them inadequate to outweigh the visual harm he had identified. 

Inspector: Tim Wood; Written representations


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