Observatory judged discordant at listed dwelling

An observatory tower proposed at a grade II listed house in a Lake District town would be completely out of character, an inspector has ruled.

The Georgian house sat within a conservation area in a central position close to a listed church. The appellant argued that the domed tower would be acceptable despite involving a "bold and idiosyncratic addition". The inspector agreed that the tower had been competently designed, but judged that it would represent a slightly eccentric addition for which there was little precedent.

In his view, it would conflict with the host building’s well proportioned and simple design and would completely dominate its character. He found that it would appear as an out-of-scale neo-classical addition that would be discordant and damaging to the dwelling’s architectural character. When viewed in the context of the conservation area, he judged that it would detract from the form and scale of nearby historic buildings.

The inspector found that rather than complementing the area’s appearance, the tower would detract from the town's quiet, picturesque and historic nature. Its top-heavy design would overpower the host building and harm the area’s scenic qualities and character, he concluded. The unrivalled 360-degree panorama of the surrounding fells it would afford the appellant would not represent a public benefit, he noted.

Inspector: Anthony Wharton; Written representations


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