DC Casebook: Housing: New build - Modern design agreed in established area

The demolition of a house in West Sussex to enable the construction of five apartments has been approved despite the council's claim that the design would be obtrusive.

The proposed building had three floors, with the top level set back under an oversailing flat roof. The windows would be steel-framed and the walls rendered and painted white. The site lay in an area characterised by terraced houses dating from the late Victorian and Edwardian periods and a listed terrace of four properties lay next to one boundary. The council asserted that the contemporary design of the apartment block would compete for attention with the listed terrace, creating an alien building that would be out of character.

The inspector regarded the house on the appeal site as having little merit. Although it occupied a relatively prominent location, he took the view that the scale and proportions of the proposed replacement would respect those in the listed terrace. It involved good modern design and would sit comfortably in the plot, he judged. While accepting that it would be noticeably different from the surrounding houses, he rejected the council's view that it would be alien.

DCS Number 100-058-405

Inspector Simon Emerson; Hearing.

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