DC Casebook: Commercial and industrial - Hardstanding ruled out at listed hangars

The retention of a hardstanding at a former First World War airfield in Wiltshire has been denied permission on the grounds that it undermines the site's special architectural and historic character.

The hardstanding had been laid next to a grade II* listed hangar used by a builders' merchants. The hangars, built in 1918, formed one of the most complete groups of technical buildings representative of a First World War training depot. There was also a grass flying field that had avoided the perimeter tracks and other alterations made to many such sites during the Second World War.

The appellant explained that the hardstanding had originally been occupied by two mobile homes used by disabled flyers under a temporary planning permission. These had been removed and the area on which they stood relaid with concrete for use in connection with the builders' merchants. He claimed that the hardstanding lay above a large underground water storage tank and a reinforced concrete slab was necessary to maintain safety.

The inspector noted that the temporary permission for the mobile homes had required the hardstanding to be removed once their use ceased. In his view, relaying the area with white concrete was visually intrusive and anachronistic, undermining the site's special architectural and historic quality and the hangars' landscaped setting.

DCS Number 100-058-195

Inspector Robin Jacques; Written representations.

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