Anne Williams and Peter Cruickshank successfully represented the London Borough of Hackney in significant planning appeal

October 25, 2023

Lamb Lane Partnership Limited sought permission to demolish an unkempt building in central Hackney in a conservation area. They sought to replace it with a mixed-use scheme, with workspaces in the basement and ground floor levels, and residential units above.

The Council maintained the scheme was a non-employment led scheme, and did not comply with the Priority Office Area for central Hackney, as set out in their local plan. The Inspector agreed with the Council on this point. Character and appearance were further in issue, the scheme being a 6 storey development with 3 storey buildings all around. The Inspector found that the height and design of the proposal would harm the character and appearance of the Lamb Lane townscape. The Inspector further found that the scheme would harm the significance of the Mare Street Conservation Area, and that the proposal would fail to preserve the special interest of the Conservation Area and that this harm would not be outweighed by the public benefits of the scheme. Daylight was also in dispute. The Inspector found that, given paragraph 125(c) of the NPPF which require LPAs to take a flexible approach to daylight and sunlight policies, the scheme would be consistent with policy.

A key matter was the Council’s lack of a 5 year housing land supply. As a result the tilted balance would normally apply. The Inspector concluded, however, that proposal was in contravention of specific policies, and that “the adverse effects on the character and appearance of the local area and the Conservation Area as well as the failure to deliver an employment-led proposal places it in clear conflict with policies of the Hackney Local Plan”.

The Inspector therefore dismissed the appeal. The decision letter can be read here.