Casebook: Appeal cases - Mixed Use Development - Local centre fails to meet required design standard

An appeal seeking reserved matters approval for the design of a local centre in a wider development area in Kent has been rejected because it failed to reach a sufficiently high standard of design.

The site formed a substantial parcel of land identified in a development brief for a local centre. Details of a food store, food and drink uses, a public house, car parking and flats were submitted. The inspector noted that the development brief identified the site as falling within the Thames Gateway and stated that the local centre had an important role to play in setting a high standard of design.

He decided that the scheme lacked the cohesion to create a sense of place.

Three main buildings would be scattered within the site with the space in between dominated by car parking, he noted. Although a piazza and bandstand were included, these would be placed centrally between the three buildings and would not relate to any of them, he held.

In his view, the buildings were designed on an individual basis. In particular, he considered that the design of the Lidl store was bland and had little architectural merit. It was not a high-quality scheme and would not set a new standard for design in the Thames Gateway, he held.

DCS No: 30413838; Inspector: Clive Hughes; Hearing.

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