Casebook: Appeal case - Mixed use development - Tall building schemes meet with mixed success

The deputy prime minister has granted conservation area consent and planning permission for a 22-storey building in central London but rejected an alternative 26-storey scheme on the grounds that it would appear incongruous and out of character with the area.

Both schemes involved the provision of residential units, holiday lets and a 4,970m2 superstore, and both required the demolition of unlisted buildings in a conservation area. The second scheme increased the number of residential units from 307 to 326. The deputy prime minister agreed with his inspector that in the absence of any visual or urban design need for a 26-storey building, the proposed tower should reflect the general heights of adjacent high buildings.

He decided that the taller building would harm the streetscape and contravene adopted policies in the London Plan. However, he ruled that the 22-storey building, along with the rest of the scheme, would bring significant regeneration benefits. It would enhance a nearby shopping centre's vitality and viability and secure affordable housing, he noted.

DCS No: 100039442; Inspector: John Gray; Inquiry.

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