162283 - RECORDS OFFICE, HAROLD STREET, HEREFORD, HEREFORDSHIRE, HR1 2QX
Demolish existing building and construct a new boarding house to accommodate 49 pupils, nurse bedroom, houseparent accommodation, house tutors flat and overnight staff room.
The application was refused in accordance with the Case Officer’s recommendation.
(Demolish existing building and construct a new boarding house to accommodate 49 pupils, nurse bedroom, houseparent accommodation, house tutors flat and overnight staff room.)
The Principal Planning Officer gave a presentation on the application.
In accordance with the criteria for public speaking, Mr T Taylor, of Bartonsham History Group, spoke in objection to the application. Mr P Smith, the Headmaster of Hereford Cathedral School, spoke in support.
In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, the local ward member, Councillor LC Tawn, spoke on the application. He commented that he recognised the significant contribution Hereford Cathedral School made to the County. However, he could not support the application. The pre-planning advice had been that the existing militia barracks should be retained, not demolished as proposed. The considerations were set out fully in the report. There were several objections to the proposal including some from local history groups and these represented the concerns of a strong local community. He considered the application should be refused for the reasons set out in the report.
In the Committee’s discussion of the application Members expressed support for the contribution made to the county by the school and its ambitions but considered that the existing building was of importance to the County and should be retained.
The local ward member was given the opportunity to close the debate. He agreed with comments expressed in opposition to the scheme.
RESOLVED: That planning permission be refused for the following reasons:
1. The development would result in the total loss of the former Hereford Militia Barracks; a non-designated heritage asset of significant local interest. Having regard to the balanced judgement set down at NPPF paragraph 135, which includes consideration of the scale of loss and significance of the asset, the Local Planning Authority concludes that proposal is contrary to Herefordshire Local Plan – Core Strategy Policies LD4 and SD1 and guidance set out in Chapter 12 of the NPPF. The development proposals would fail to fulfil the environmental and social roles of sustainable development and are not held, therefore, to represent sustainable development.
2. The development would result in the construction of a 3-storey building of an appearance, scale and massing that would appear stark and discordant in the local context. The Local Planning Authority does not consider that the scheme demonstrates that the character of the surrounding townscape has positively influenced the design and scale of the development proposal. Accordingly the scheme is held contrary to Herefordshire Local Plan – Core Strategy Policies LD1 and SD1 and guidance set out in the NPPF; which confirms that poor design, which fails to take the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of an area, should be refused. The development proposal is not, therefore, considered to fulfil the social and environmental roles of sustainable development and does not, therefore, represent sustainable development.
Having regard to Reasons for Refusal 1 and 2, and the approach to decision-making prescribed by Herefordshire Local Plan – Core Strategy SS1 and NPPF paragraph 14, the harm arising in the environmental and social dimensions significantly and demonstrably outweighs the benefits of the scheme. The Local Planning Authority concludes that the proposed development is not sustainable development and should be refused accordingly.
3. In the absence of full activity surveys, the presence or otherwise of European Protected Species cannot be determined at this stage. Accordingly, the Council cannot be satisfied that the scheme would protect nature conservation sites and habitats in the terms set out at Herefordshire Local Plan – Core Strategy LD2 and the NPPF at paragraph 118. European protected species are afforded the highest level of protection by the planning system and in the circumstances; the potential impacts mean that the scheme is not representative of sustainable development.
1 The Local Planning Authority has acted positively and proactively in determining this application by assessing the proposal against planning policy and any other material considerations and identifying matters of concern with the proposal and discussing those with the applicant. However, the issues are so fundamental to the proposal that it has not been possible to negotiate a satisfactory way forward and due to the harm which have been clearly identified within the reason(s) for the refusal, approval has not been possible.