Lower standard of sustainability agreed

A condition imposed on a planning permission for an office development near Bristol requiring it to be built to a top environmental standard has been declared unnecessary.

Under the proposals, 784m2 of an existing building would be demolished and the new offices would extend to 1,491m2. The remainder of the existing building would be reclad and reroofed. The condition stipulated that the new offices must be constructed to the BREEAM very good standard and called for a written report and certificate from a qualified assessor to be submitted to the local authority confirming the details.

The appellants argued that this standard of construction could not be met because the site was located next to a quarry and the condition entailed the refurbishment of existing buildings. The inspector agreed with the council that it was desirable to ensure that wherever possible new buildings should achieve the highest standards of energy efficiency and their impact on the environment should be reduced.

However, he held that the scheme's innovative design, using modern construction methods and some locally sourced materials, and the benefits of maintaining employment on the site weighed against requiring the BREEAM rating specified. Under these circumstances, he considered the condition to be unduly restrictive and deleted it from the permission.

DCS Number 100-051-071

Inspector James Ellis; Written representations.

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