The site contained a college building that was about to fall vacant. The inspector agreed that the appeal scheme would make good use of previously developed land in the urban area. However, he noted that the site lay close to a listed former chapel whose classical elevation dominated the conservation area.
He accepted that various views of this building could be obtained from across the valley, inferring that even a tall building on the appeal site need not be harmful to its setting. However, he was concerned that other views from a railway station were angled upwards and were likely to be closed off by the upper part of the hotel.
He acknowledged that these views were heavily obscured by trees in summer but found that this was not the case in winter. Hiding the classical portico would be unacceptable, he decided. He was also concerned about the site's capacity to satisfactorily accommodate almost 100 dwellings.
DCS Number 100-050-171
Inspector Mel Middleton; Hearing.