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Proposed 13 & 11 Storey Towers at 6 Paris Garden and 20-21 Hatfields, LB Southwark

DATE: 21 Apr 2009

Two-day inquiry into proposal by JG Paris LLP and the Central School of Ballet for two 13 & 11 storey towers for the relocation of the Central School of Ballet and 196 units of student accommodation.

Prior to the inquiry Southwark LBC had granted planning permission for an alternative scheme comprising two 13 & 9 storey towers. The main issue before the inquiry was whether the 11 storey block on the Hatfields side had an unacceptable impact on the character and appearance of the area, compared to the 9 storey block in the already approved scheme.

Having considered the planning and design evidence before the Inquiry, the Inspector dismissed the appeal on the following basis:

"23. I conclude that the appeal scheme would have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the area, contrary to the relevant national and local planning policies, most notably Southwark Plan policy 3.13i ii and iii which requires that consideration should be given to designing proposals that are appropriate to the local context and which do not dominate their surroundings inappropriately; to have regard to the existing urban grain and to their local context. I conclude that the scheme would not meet the objectives of this policy.

24. I have weighed this against the appellants' submissions that the additional floors represented by the appeal scheme would create greater 'certainty and flexibility' of the scheme proceeding in the current financial climate. I am aware that the Central School of Ballet requires a new site in the immediate future and that their relocation on the appeal site would realise significant benefits to the locality through their Outreach Programmes. I have no evidence however that the approved scheme would not deliver all these benefits. These matters would not outweigh the harm that I have identified."

David Elvin QC appeared for the Appellants, JG Paris LLP and the Central School of Ballet. Charles Banner appeared for the local planning authority, Southwark LBC.