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Cambridge Street

Full planning application for retail food store.

Aylesbury Vale District Council had refused the application believing the proposal to be at odds with the layout, scale and form of existing properties because of its sitting, appearance and size.

Design at appeal

The inspector agreed, concluding that the proposal would have a noticeable impact on the appearance and character of the area.

The inspector noted that the main architectural characteristics along Cambridge Road are of two-storey terraced properties on a consistent building line and with eaves and ridges at similar height. The inspector felt the proposal failed to take these important visual clues into consideration. Although the inspector did not expect the proposed development to mimic the design of the existing building, the proposal would œbe at odds with the general setting with its vast uninterrupted blank facade and a flat roof that is below the ridged heights typical of Cambridge Street.

The inspector stated that œthe large uninterrupted glazed frontage would be at odds with the established patterns of fenestration. Even with improvements to punctuate the facade into smaller components, the proposal would still have an appearance of a glazed monolith.

The inspector also considered the sitting of the proposal to be problematic with its œslightly tilted alignment to optimise operation. This as an unsettling feature of the design.

In conclusion, the inspector dismissed the appeal, finding fundamental errors in the design and a failure to protect or improve the traditional building characteristics of the area.

Appeal was dismissed

Key lessons

  • Better Places to live By Design sets out the principle of place making and urban design.
  • Design at appeal provides guidance for local authorities and appellants to navigate the appeal process when design is an issue.
  • PPS1: Delivering sustainable development states ˜design which fails to take the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of an area should not be accepted.

Further information

  • Appeal decision date:
    11 July 2006
  • Local authority:
    Aylesbury Vale District Council
  • Region:
    South East
  • Type of application:
    Full Planning
  • LPA planning reference:
    05/00831/APP
  • Planning Inspectorate appeal reference:
    APP/J0405/A/05/1185686