Hotel expansion conflicts with heritage asset

A west London hotel, seeking permission for a single storey extension, was denied permission because of the adverse impact on the character of a conservation area and former communal garden.

The site lay within an area which had been subject to significant suburban development in the 1860s to 1890s and was characterised by tall terraced properties interspersed by squares and gardens. The appeal site had formerly comprised a communal garden to some of the buildings nearby which had short rear spaces. An inspector decided that whilst the site was in separate ownership and used by the hotel, there remained a strong historic link between the space and the properties. It therefore made a positive contribution to the character of the area.

The proposed design which was "undoubtedly a commendable piece of architecture", would affect the garden’s sense of spaciousness even with a green roof, the inspector opined. In his opinion it would affect the historical and visual linkage between the site and adjoining properties and while there were only limited public views of the site, this did not diminish the importance of maintaining the historical plan. Despite the site already being used for guests at the hotel which included a series of dining pods, the proposal would cause harm to the heritage asset, which would be compounded by the impact on the setting of a grade II* listed church. The visual gap between the hotel and the church would be markedly eroded, he determined, and contrary to the appellant’s claim, would not better reveal its character. The public benefits did not outweigh the harm.

Inspector: J Sargent; Hearing

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