A scheme involving the conversion of the Bow Street police station and magistrates' court in London's Covent Garden has been supported on the basis that it would secure the long-term future of the buildings and would not harm the character of the conservation area.
The proposal was to extend the grade II listed police station and convert it to a London policing museum with separate offices. The council, while supporting the scheme in principal, was concerned that the form and size of the proposed steel and glass extension was excessive and out of character.
But the inspector noted that the imposing frontages of the main buildings would remain largely unchanged.
While accepting that the removal of some internal walls would involve some loss of the historic fabric, he judged that this would be offset by positive effects, including the removal of inappropriate additions such as suspended ceilings. In his view, the extension had the potential to enhance the character and special interest of the building. On this basis, he concluded that it would not harm the architectural quality of the building or conservation area.
DCS No: 38322561; Inspector: Ken Barton; Hearing.