We know that many residents across St James appreciate the architectural heritage of the area and are keen to see the conservation areas enhanced. If this is you, this second application will certainly be one to which you will want to add your voice to a call for refusal.

Application 23/1424/FUL, seeks to replace a private garage on Oxford Road at the rear of 5-6 Well Street, with a two-storey, two-bedroom dwelling for three persons. It is one of a number of similar one-storey buildings, mainly private garages, at the York Road end of Oxford Road, directly facing the important Grade II listed Georgian terrace of 4-18 Oxford Road, but which are identified in the St Sidwell’s Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan as ‘buildings that do not make a positive contribution to the character of the area’. 

Replacement of the garage would therefore be welcomed if this enhanced the townscape, but sadly the proposed design is such that it would, to the contrary, have a detrimental impact on Oxford Road and the St Sidwell’s Conservation Area.

By failing to enhance the conservation area the design does not meet the criteria of NP design policy D1 or the Local Plan Design Policy D4 for many reasons, including sub-standard provision of internal and external space for the proposed occupants, as well as negatively impacting the privacy, daylight and outdoor amenity space currently ascribed to existing flats above 5-6 Well Street, creating an overbearing, hemmed-in outlook for the existing residents.

The NP states:

The best way to ensure heritage is protected is through good design as required by Policy D1, in particular with regard to build scale, form, massing, setback and materials.

In this case the design fails in all these matters, so is also non-compliant with NP Heritage Policy H1, which states:

Heritage Development affecting heritage assets within St James must pay special regard to the need to conserve and enhance their settings and any special architectural or historic features of significance.   

Comments to this application may be made online or by email to the case officer, Matt Hall, [email protected] As above, if you wish your comment to be counted as an objection, please mark it as such to avoid any doubt, and again copy to the planning department and councillors.