Bell Cornwell secured planning permission, at appeal, for the construction of a new building for 9 apartments in Upton, Bude. The scheme takes inspiration from its dramatic coastal location and panoramic sea view from Lundy Island to Trevose Head in Cornwall. The bungalow property was coming toward the end of its useable life but it is a building sited in a large plot and situated in a key ‘gateway’ location on the edge of Bude. The site therefore presented an excellent redevelopment opportunity for our client.
The replacement building will provide a series of 2 and 3 bed apartments (including penthouse apartment) with shared amenity and garden space in addition to an individual external terrace or balcony for each respective apartment. Every unit has been allocated two car parking spaces plus a secure storage facility for bicycles, surfboards, wetsuits etc. The development results in a high quality contemporary design which is respectful of the scale of the development in the surrounding area (namely two-storey domestic residential properties as well as the adjacent three-storey apartment building, Piran Heights).
We are delighted to have been part of the consultant team who got this over the line for our client and this is yet another successful collaboration between ourselves and The Bazeley Partnership (Architects based in Bude) who created a very well-considered, high quality design. The application was recommended for approval by officers but was unfortunately refused by the Planning Committee. The replacement building was perceived by the Committee to be an inappropriate scale, mass and design, causing harm to the character of the area and residential amenity.
Whilst it is not unusual for Planning Committees to overturn the recommendation of their officers, including on design matters, the scheme had Design Review Panel support. The Bazeley Partnership presented the final planning scheme to Cornwall Design Review Panel before submitting the planning application to the Local Planning Authority. For a contentious scheme like this, it is good practice because Design Review Panels play a very important role in the consideration of design matters.
The guidance reports of the Design Review Panel are a material consideration to assist planning officers and Councillors in understanding and promoting high quality design. Their support is therefore a very good indicator of the scheme’s compliance with both the design policies of the Cornwall Local Plan and the Cornwall Design Guide.
The Design Review Panel’s backing in the face of design objections from the Planning Committee proved invaluable in the appeal. The Inspector gave appropriate weight to the favourable comments of the Panel in their support of the scheme. This was a point that Bell Cornwell were able to tease out as part of the root and branch review of the submission and the associated consultation responses and committee report, which formed our appeal case.
We also undertook detailed analysis of both the landscape and the visual impact associated with the development by reviewing the existing built forms; the materials used and the scale/height of other buildings found within Upton. This enabled us to understand local context, get to the heart of the issues raised in the reason for refusal and ultimately demonstrate that our proposals were perfectly acceptable and that no harm would arise.
For further information about this project, please contact Associate, Dan Rogers at our new Cornwall office.