Former hotel grounds unsuitable for residential development

A scheme involving the erection of four houses within the grounds of a former hotel within a Cornish area of great landscape value was rejected after an inspector determined that the site comprised a prominent and natural feature of the historic landscape.

The site overlooked the historic town of Looe which had originated as two medieval settlements astride a river, and the appeal site was viewed in conjunction with other historic properties. As part of the hillside overlooking the town it was prominent, the inspector held, and although the scheme had been devised to set the housing into the hillside, with green roofs, it would nonetheless fail to assimilate with its surroundings. The rural quality of the site would be eroded, and it comprised an important component of the historic landscape, widely visible from a number of vantage points.

Moreover, the inspector held that the dwellings would appear rather squat , with plain, geometric facades with limited architectural detailing. No other buildings of comparable design were present in the immediate area, he noted, and they would be out of balance with more traditional architectural forms. The benefits outlined by the appellant did not outweigh this fundamental objection and the appeal was dismissed.

Inspector: Thomas Bristow; Written representations

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