Protesters fail to stop listed buildings being converted to homes

Protesters from a local community group have failed to prevent the development of several listed buildings in a conservation area.

The proposed development was for 93 houses and associated facilities at the site of a former school, containing several Grade II listed buildings and a playing field. The proposal included measures to restore and reuse most of the listed buildings.

The planning officer's report found that residential use of the site was compatible with the conservation of the historic buildings, and that the development would make a welcome contribution towards the local plan's housing target.

It recommended approval, having concluded that the public benefits of the scheme outweighed any harm that would occur due to the partial loss of the school's playing field and the proposed redevelopment.

The local authority's planning committee accepted that recommendation and granted planning permission and listed building consent.

A local community group applied for judicial review of the decision on several grounds. These included the contention that the planning report had misled the committee by failing to advise that the local plan required that permission should not be granted for development having an adverse effect on the setting of a listed building.

The court dismissed the application. It held that it was clear from reading the planning report that there was no breach of the local plan because the proposal overall did not harm the conservation area.

The planning committee had also not been misled about any other aspect of the local plan.

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