Conservation Area Success

Appeal against Birmingham City Council to refuse planning permission for a single storey extension, canopy and replacement windows to front in a Conservation Area

Appeal Ref: APP/P4605/D/11/2143796

Birmingham City Council refused the application for the following reason:-

The site is within the Moor Pool Conservation Area and the proposed development would be incompatible with the character and appearance of that area, being in conflict with conservation objectives 3.27 of the Birmingham UDP and PPS5.

The client contacted Planning Appeals Ltd / The Planning Group Ltd for advice as to whether an appeal was the way forward.

The appeal statement submitted was robust and set out the case for the appellant as follows:-

The Moor Pool Conservation Area was designated in 1970 and is a fine example of a Garden City Movement development and the whole area is typified by ‘Arts and Crafts’ housing dating from between 1907 – 1912. Originally the area included open spaces including allotments, between houses. Some of these open spaces have been lost to development however the special character of the area remains. Streets and roads are typically tree lined.

The first matter to be addressed is the position of the appeal property. It is located at the head of the cul-de-sac which very much limits its visual contribution to the area. The proposed side extension, which is set back 1000mm from the front wall of the main house, will only be visible from immediately in front of the property, which by any measurement is a very restricted public view. This restricted view and the scale and design of the extension makes the addition to the side of the house so minor in nature that it does not materially affect the character and appearance of the Conservation Area.

The house is undergoing renovation after some years of neglect. The windows are in a poor state and will be replaced with identical timber windows.

The domed canopy proposed above the front door will provide shelter to callers. The design reflects the ‘Arts and Crafts’ style and is not detrimental to the house, street or wider area. However, it is noted that only one other property in the street has a porch (a poorly designed flat roofed UPVC porch). Should the Inspector be so minded, we respectfully request that the canopy can be deleted from the plan, employing the principle established under ‘Wheatcroft’.

It is noted that there is not a Conservation Area Appraisal on the Council’s website. An informal Character Appraisal has been carried out by the Moor Pool Regeneration group in 2007, but no formal Appraisal on behalf of the Council. The Council therefore rely on the very general policy guidance included in Policy 3.27 of the UDP. Within that policy two of the listed criteria are relevant. Firstly ‘development should respect the character of the existing architecture in scale...and materials and should generally reflect the character and appearance of the area’. It is the case that the proposed development is in strict accordance with this element. The second general policy criteria states ‘the development should (normally) preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the area’. Again it is our case that the proposed development accords with this part of the policy.

It is noted that directly opposite the appeal site, on the end of the mirror image terrace, is a very recently constructed side extension. A photograph of that extension is included in this statement. Whilst the design includes a mono-pitch roof and overall that extension is different to that subject of this appeal, it does serve to help assess the impact of this proposal on the character and appearance of the conservation area.

The Inspector agreed and concluded by saying:-

“I conclude that the proposal would preserve the character and the appearance of the conservation area. The proposal therefore accords with Policy 3.27 of The Birmingham Plan, which aims to ensure that development respects the character of the existing architecture in scale, grouping and materials and generally reflects the character and appearance of the area.”