Bell Street flats plan rejected as “cramped overdevelopment”

New flats shown in red area (Credit: RnH Architects Ltd)

 

Plans to build six flats at the back of 77-83 Bell Street, Reigate, have been rejected by Reigate & Banstead’s planning committee.

Two buildings at the front are already being converted into 16 flats: under the new plans a further three one-bed and three studio flats would have replaced the car park at the rear.

Councillors refused the new proposals as being “cramped overdevelopment of the site” which would harm the area’s character, owing to the new buildings’ size, their tight spacing and lack of landscaping and amenity space.

Some councillors were also unhappy that the site would have no parking, but a planning officer said refusal would be difficult to justify on that basis, as Surrey Highways hadn’t objected.

The planning officer’s report, which recommended approval, also noted that buses, trains and the town centre are in walking distance.

The site is within the Reigate town centre conservation area, but the borough’s conservation officer had no objections, subject to conditions.

The council was able to have more say on this application, compared to the conversion project, as the latter was approved (in 2017) under national “permitted development rights” which give councils only limited powers on office to residential schemes.

 

Conversion work at the front (photo: reigate.uk)

 

Links

Video of the 16 May discussion

Application 17/02732/F: refusal decision, officer’s report

Layout plan showing area (from which top image taken)

 

Edited 6 June 2018

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