Rooftop plant harms conservation area

A retrospective application for an air conditioning unit and other plant located on the roof of a high-rise building in London to serve a Sainsbury local store on the ground floor failed to win the approval of an inspector.

The building occupied a location opposite a conservation area based around extensive parkland surrounding a listed mansion and church. The inspector noted that while the plant could not be seen from the base of the tall building, it appeared prominent and incongruous in long distance views of the skyline showing above trees from within the conservation area and listed house, resulting in less than substantial harm to heritage assets. Recognising that the plant serviced a shop providing an essential amenity for the local community, the inspector nonetheless held that in the absence of evidence that the roof top was the least harmful option to prevent the extended closure of the store, the public benefits were limited and did not outweigh harm to heritage assets.

Inspector: Andrew Owen; Written representations


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