218a-220 Mill Road: 15/0962/FUL. Planning Committee 5 Aug 2015
Yesterday (5th August 2015) it was extremely disappointing when the Planning Committee agreed to allow a planning application by Londis that had previously been refused by both the East Area Committee and an appeal inspector.
Londis is a corner site in the Conservation Area of Romsey and part of the Mill Road streetscape. Other similar corner sites close to this are Hilary's, and St Philips Church; both these sites maintain the brick appearance that the Romsey Conservation area is there to protect.
The render at Londis was added without permission and local residents complained: a retrospective planning application was then submitted and in turn was refused by East Area Committee. Londis appealed and the inspector was uniquivocal in rejecting the appeal (see below).
Yesterday another retrospective application was considered by the planning committee to allow Londis to retain the render covering of traditional brickwork.
Before the render was applied without permission Londis blends in with the streetscene
After – brickwork rendered over
A Romsey resident and Councillor Dave Baigent both spoke at the planning meeting and requested that the planning committee reject the retrospective planning application on the basis that this was a prominent site in Romsey and that the brickscape should be retained.
Three other corner sites
Hilary's, on the prominent corner opposite Londis features restored brick work.
St Philips Church diagonally opposite Londis, provided an extension which featured traditional brickwork that enhanced the area rather than detract from it.
The adjacent corner on Hope Street
Yesterday’s decision to accept the retrospective application and allow the render on the side of this building at the third attempt questions the value of the Conservation Area and ignores the Planning Inspector’s advice AND the earlier decision of East Area Committee.
In addition by allowing a retrospective application for render, it all but encourages others to render their premises and site this case as precedence.
Nothing has changed since East Area Committee and the Planning Inspector rejected the retrospective proposal to render over brickwork.
In case you have not read the Inspectors Report his comments are below ( under the photos).
Londis: Hope St 2014 Londis: pre render
This render at Londis was put up without permission and removed a brick wall which is a main feature of properties in Romsey. When a retrospective application was made to East Area Committee permission was refused. When it went to appeal the inspector refused the appeal on the following lines.
The Planning Inspector said this render was unacceptable. The Inspectors views still hold, including his views that there is no evidence that render was necessary.
From Inspectors Report:
6. The painted rendering of the side elevation of the premises facing Hope Street is read principally in the context of the existing residential character of the street, where the majority of the terraced dwellings are constructed from traditional brickwork. Furthermore, the painted render covers an extensive two-storey and single-storey area of the side elevation of the appeal premises, which extends a significant distance back from the junction.
I consider the overall coverage of the painted render results in an obtrusive and visually harmful feature within both the street and the conservation area.
7. The appellant indicates that the use of an appropriate render was advised due
to the poor condition of the existing brickwork. However, no compelling
evidence has been placed before me regarding the previous condition of the
building, or that the use of render was the only possible solution
8. I do not consider that the existence of other rendered buildings within the conservation area alters my conclusion in this respect.
9. I conclude that the use of painted render fails to preserve or enhance the
character and appearance of the Central Conservation Area. The development
conflicts with saved Policies 3/4 and 4/11 of the Cambridge City Council Local
Plan 2006, which seek to ensure that development identifies and responds
positively to existing features of historic character on and close to the
development site, and that development within conservation areas preserves or
enhances the character or appearance of the conservation area by reflecting its
context or providing a successful contrast.
The harm identified would amount to less than substantial harm which the National Planning Policy Framework (the Framework) advises must be weighed against the public benefits of the
In this respect, no public benefits resulting from the rendering have been cited which would outweigh the harm that the rendering causes to the Central Conservation Area. I therefore conclude that the development also fails to comply with national policy as outlined in the Framework.
Appeal Decision APP/Q0505/A/14/2228832 www.planningportal.gov.uk/planninginspectorate 3
10. I have considered the appellants suggestion that the scheme could be altered
to include painting the framing of existing openings in a suitable different
tone to the colour of the render, which it is contended would respond to the
Victorian characteristics of buildings within the conservation area.
However, I do not consider that this would amount to appropriate mitigation for the harm
caused by the appeal scheme.
11. For the reasons given above, the appeal is dismissed.