The building was sited very close to another office building already converted to flats and had previously been linked to it with a first floor bridge link. Given separation distances of between only four and six metres, privacy and outlook for occupiers was a major concern. The inspector considered that a significant reduction in the amount of glazing and use of obscured glazing to habitable rooms and partially obscured oriel windows to the bedrooms that would direct views away, would prevent undue breach of privacy and overlooking and perceived overlooking despite the proximity of facades.
An upward extension adding third and fourth floors would be set back and, in the inspector’s opinion, would not harm outlook from flats in the neighbouring building or appear overbearing, with proposed green roofs and landscaping softening the effect of the proposal. Given adequate mitigation of effects on a special protection area and provision for additional public open space and transport infrastructure, the inspector found in favour of the scheme on all main issues and allowed the appeal.
Inspector: Rekha Sabu; Written representations