Casebook: Appeal Case - Housing; conversion - City centre flats allowed despite noise concern

The conversion of floors above a hot food takeaway and vacant shop in Lancaster to create three affordable flats has been allowed following findings that it would provide satisfactory living conditions for future occupants.

The inspector was not persuaded that smells from the takeaway would unduly harm future occupants' amenity. He observed that an extractor system terminated above eaves level on the rear elevation, well away from the habitable rooms proposed almost entirely at the front of the property.

On internal noise transmission, he noted that the takeaway served people emerging from three nearby nightclubs and that its opening hours extended well into the period when people were normally asleep. However, he was persuaded that this matter could be suitably addressed through sound insulation.

On external noise, the inspector remarked that the site was in a city centre location and opined that some allowance had to be made for the setting in assessing an acceptable standard of residential amenity. However, he noted that there was no dispute that the immediate area was a hot spot for late night activity and had a high incidence of occurrences requiring police attendance.

He found that adjacent flats demonstrated the very high level of sound insulation that could be achieved by specialised double glazing, making the sound of large volumes of traffic barely audible. This gave him considerable confidence that external noise levels could be mitigated to the extent that the internal living environment would be acceptably quiet at all times of the day and night.

DCS No: 100039814; Inspector: Brian Rogers; Hearing.

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