In appearance and character terms the inspector was not concerned with the mixed nature of the scheme’s composition because he felt the site was well screened and would read as a new standalone development. He felt the proposal would not adversely affect the character or appearance of the area, which was itself mixed in styles and ages, but add a different style and layout to the edge of this settlement. He acknowledged the retirement block at three storeys would be a sizeable building and ultimately increased the density of the scheme above that which was around, but as it would be well set back and screened and was set in its own gardens, he did not feel it or the rest of the proposal was inappropriate or contrary to adopted local plan policy.
The council had expressed concern regarding the retention of an historic hedge and protected poplar tree at the site. During the course of the application the appellants had removed the hedge and tree from within the gardens of the proposed properties in that part of the site and set them outside. The inspector felt this change would safeguard the tree and hedgerow on the boundary and allow for their retention and contribution to the character of the area. He felt their maintenance could be adequately secured by condition and they were sufficiently removed from the proposed properties themselves so as not to be in danger of damage of future pressure for removal at a later date.
Inspector: Edwin Maund; Written representations