The site lay just outside the boundary of a conservation area based around an Edwardian estate at the junction of two roads. In the inspector’s opinion, the contemporary two storey building proposed would appear bulky and unrelated to neighbouring buildings, harming the established character and appearance of the surrounding area and setting of the conservation area.
Addressing the issue of impact on the vitality and viability of the retail unit and district centre, the inspector noted the scheme included a shop in addition to creating three new flats. However, he doubted the long term viability of the forty square metre shop unit proposed, given a significant reduction in overall floor area and complete loss of ancillary space for storage, toilets and a staff room. He considered that the essential shopping character and function of the appeal site and the district centre would be undermined by the proposal.
Inspector: Wayne Johnson; Written representations