In a recent appeal decision, the Planning Inspector overruled the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, saying that a redevelopment proposal would not cause harm to a Conservation Area.

In allowing an appeal against the refusal of planning permission, the Inspector found that a proposal to amend an existing planning permission, which was also granted at appeal, did not cause harm to the Kensington Conservation Area.

Planning Appeals Consultants London

The proposals will see the proposed redevelopment of the site go ahead in a way which allows greater functionality for the appellant by allowing a projecting side element, a cut out on the second floor corner, adjustments to fenestration and an enclosed terrace. Internally concealed air conditioning units were also approved, subject to conditions regarding noise.

The main issue in this appeal, as with many such applications, was the effect of the changes on the character and appearance of the Conservation Area. The Inspector criticised the council for finding that the alterations to the approved scheme were unsympathetic, pointing out that the statutory test was not whether the council preferred the original scheme, but whether the proposals would preserve or enhance the Conservation Area.

The Inspector found that, in this case, the alterations to the original design would reflect design themes found elsewhere in the street, and instead reflected the character of a group of modern buildings in this street, which served as a counterpoint to the stucco terraces of surrounding streets.

What can often seem like an intractable dispute not worth appealing can quickly be opened up when a professional consultant looks at the case, as councils are habitual offenders when it comes to applying the incorrect test, or misapplying the correct test. If you have been refused permission, it is always worth obtaining professional planning advice as to your options.