Church use materially harmed by mixed-use scheme

Despite a local authority in Essex approving a largely similar scheme to that proposed by an appellant, an inspector decided that the impact of apartments and office space would materially harm the use of a neighbouring church.

The proposal involved redeveloping single storey live/work units  to create a building between three and five storeys in height containing 87 apartments, 11 live-work units and 660m2 of Class B1 space. A large church abutted the southern boundary, the inspector noted, and the sheer proximity of a blank flank wall as proposed would block daylight and sunlight into the chapel, making it gloomy and oppressive, he held. It would also block light into another room within the church, both rooms in his opinion being in relatively regular use. Despite the contemporary design being judged acceptable, the inspector held that its scale and layout would undermine the use of the church as a community facility such that overall, its design was not acceptable. The appeal was dismissed.

Inspector: Richard Aston; Written representations

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