Casebook: Appeal cases - Housing: new build - Villa saved despite cost of refurbishment

The partial demolition of a Victorian villa in a south Wales conservation area to make way for a building of identical design and height has been refused after an inspector concluded that the existing building was of considerable quality and the cost of refurbishment did not override conservation objectives.

The proposal was for a building behind the existing facade containing three apartments together with rear extensions to accommodate a further six flats. The appellant argued that the existing building was dilapidated and that its replacement would enhance the quality of the conservation area.

The inspector noted that the site was prominent in the street scene and represented one of the area's few remaining intact limestone buildings.

It had not been demonstrated that the villa was incapable of repair and renovation because a comprehensive structural survey had not been carried out, he considered.

He decided that the economic argument in favour of demolition was outweighed by the more compelling conservation consideration. He judged that the scheme would harm the fine townscape setting of the conservation area and this justified refusing permission and conservation area consent.

DCS No: 29882857; Inspector: Geraint Rees; Written representations.

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