Planning & Design have won an appeal for 6 apartments at Darley Abbey. The design is by Matthew Montague Architects and the scheme includes the demolition of the existing bungalow and garage on the site and the erection of a new building comprising 6 apartments. The original application was recommended for approval as it was considered compliant with the Derby City Development Plan. However it received a large number of objections from the local community of Darley Abbey and subsequently was refused at planning committee on the basis of ‘over development’.
Planning & Design had confidence in the scheme as it was in a sustainable location, being located just off the A6 with bus stops less than 50m away and strong connections to the city centre, which meant that it was an ideal location for housing aimed at older people wishing to downsize. The scheme again received strong public objection through the appeal process, with residents objecting over the size of the development, the impact on the character of the area, and additionally arguing that it would have a negative impact on the highway.
As a consequence of highway re-configuration in the past, the appeal site is in a unique position as it was isolated from the original road and the dwelling opposite is significantly elevated in comparison. The Inspector agreed that the site is relatively tucked away due to the unique topography; dominated to the north and west by wooded highway embankments and as such would not materially harm the character and appearance of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site or the Darley Abbey Conservation Area.
The Inspector decided that the mass of the building would be mitigated by the ‘singular position’ of the site due to the unique topography of the area. He also stated that the character of the area would not be harmed as it is not uniform in itself. The Inspector commented that the building had been ‘skilfully designed for its context, so that it would not appear as an over-intensive form but rather would make efficient and effective use of an unusual site in an unusual position in a manner which would punctuate the townscape harmoniously, rather than disrupt it incongruously.’
Furthermore, the Inspector concluded that there would be no harm to the amenity of any neighbouring properties, and regarding the highway concerns, the Inspector concluded that the proposed development has enough on-site parking and with its close proximity to a bus route and no highway authority objections the scheme is acceptable.
If you have a planning application which has been refused and would like advice, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
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