For those of you who read this column regularly, I am still getting the phone calls! Now that the draft of the new PPG 15 has finally appeared, I shall be spending the next few weeks looking at it very carefully to decide what effect it is likely to have on the appeal process. Before that, as promised, your equivalent of the Jimmy Young Show.
A conservation area enforcement notice
requiring the replacement of roof slates from a coursed rubble—stone barn and lean-to
within the Askrigg Conservation Area in Wensleydale, North Yorkshire.
All the slates from the barn and the lean- to had been removed; some were neatly stacked whilst others were broken inside. About half the original roof timbers of the barn had fallen in but the rafters of the lean-to appear largely intact. The appellant stated that it was his intention to make the roof safe and restore the building to a practical use at a later date. He had in fact been refused consent for the demolition of the barn and its resiting as a new house. The area is covered by a Town Scheme and a grant for reroofing had been offered in 1990/91 but not taken up.
The inspector considered that a substantial part of the main roof had collapsed owing to disuse, and many of the roof slates fallen off and broken, prior to the designation of the conservation area in November 1987. The subsequent removal and careful stacking of the remainder of the slates had saved a significant quantity for re-use. In his view, to have left the building in its parlous condition in 1987 would probably have led to extensive collapse and the consequent loss of much of its original slate covering. He considered that the owner intended to carry out an act of preservation rather than demolition, that the works were minimum necessary in the interests of safety and that it would make little sense to require the reinstatement of the stacked slates alone. Interestingly, the architect inspector commented that the appeal had legal implications which were not for him to decide but later commented that he did not consider that the removal and stacking of the slates constituted demolition and recommended accordingly to the Secretary of State. He found that as a matter of fact and degree the removal of
the slates did not constitute the partial demolition of the building, that there had been no breach of control and quashed the enforcement notice.
This is obviously a case with a long and complicated history. The conclusions (not necessarily the final decision) do not seem to tie in with my understanding, (and my dictionary’s definition) of the meaning of the words “partial demolition”
BUILDING SECURITY: ALARM BOXES
A listed building enforcement notice
requiring a blue alarm box on a grade 11* house in Cole Castle in Dorset to be
The alarm box was fitted to the stone front wall of the house at first floor level adjacent to a three light stone mullion window. There are several other alarm boxes in the village which have been painted brown grey to match the stonework.
The inspector considered that the alarm box had a small but discernible effect upon the special architectural and historic character of the building and therefore consent was required. The appellant said that security experts supported the view that an alarm box should be readily visible on a building to act as a deterrent. The inspector accepted this point. He concluded that the box should be painted white, to match adjacent casement windows and be maintained in the colour of the
fenestration of the front elevation. It would thus read as part of the overall colour scheme for the property but still be a visible security measure. The Secretary of State agreed with this recommendation.
Like the cases on security shutters in my last article, this is another example of the effect on historic buildings of life in the 1990s. Not everybody will agree with the outcome, but it is a very fair balance between architectural appearance and modern security needs.
WHAT A BIG HOUSE YOU’VE GOT GRANNY
An app eal against a refusal of planning
consent for the erection ofa 'granny annex' and failure to approve external details, on a house nearing completion at Petham near
Canterbury within the Kent Downs
Apart from adjacent cottages, the appeal site is surrounded by farmland. The dwelling has been constructed in unapproved details of a dark multi brick for the main areas of external walling with contrasting red brick features. The dark appearance of the house is exacerbated by dark mortar and dark stained windows. -
The inspector considered that Canterbury City Council’s desire to control strictly development within the AONB was fully justified. He accepted that aesthetic judgment was to some extent subjective, but considered that in this case the dark materials were inappropriate to the AONB. The inspector also considered that the ‘granny flat’ was not a significant reduction to a proposal which had already been refused on appeal and that it would still be an excessive extension, in an inappropriate location, which would harm the rural character and appearance of the area. He refused consent in both cases.
Neither a listed building nor a conservation area, but an interesting decision on an aesthetic issue within an AONB. The house sounds as though it would be more at home in Accrington rather than Kent!
NEW LAMPS (ARTIFICIAL STONE) FOR OLD (REAL STONE)?
A listed building enforcement notice
concerning noncompliance with conditions relating to the provision of samples of
materials for the erection of a two storey extension to a grade II house in Bolton, Lancs.