Loss of community space prevents mixed-use redevelopment

The loss of a Christian centre and community training facility in south-east London added to an inspector’s decision to refused permission for a mixed residential, community and employment development.

The inspector agreed that the impact on adjoining residents in terms of a loss of sunlight and daylight had been accurately assessed and would not be harmful. Nor did she consider that the scheme would prejudice a potential development on an adjoining piece of ground, although acknowledging that a comprehensive approach was preferable. It would align with the council’s long-term preferences for the site and a safe and convenient pedestrian access for local residents could be secured.
However, at the hearing it became clear that none of the floorspace figures relating to the Class D1 use were accurate. The site visit confirmed that it was in excess of 750m2 whereas the proposal involved only 450m2. The inspector held that she could not impose a condition requiring a minimum of Class D1 space to be provided because this would reduce the amount of employment space planned. This was sufficient to dismiss the appeal.
A partial award of costs was made in favour of the appellant due to the council’s late withdrawal of a highway objection and its subsequent withdrawal of its objections on energy efficiency, sustainability and noise. No explanation of its late withdrawal of the latter had been provided which meant the appellant had incurred unnecessary expense.
Inspector: Beverly Wilders; Hearing

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