Working as part of a team to defend the decision of Epsom and Ewell Borough Council to refuse planning permission for an Aldi Store with 6 residential units above, adjacent but not within a Conservation Area, the appointed Inspector dismissed the appeal.
The Inquiry sat for 5 days in October 2017. After hearing evidence from both sides, including Murphy Associates on heritage and design matters, the Inspector agreed that a new store on the former Diary Crest site would detract from the character of the surrounding area and the setting of the Conservation Area. In carrying out the planning balance considered the harm to the character and appearance of the area and the 'less than substantial' (para 134 of the NPPF) to the setting of Conservation Area, would outweigh the public benefits identified.
The Inspector also agreed with the EEBC on the issue of the sequential test for retail was failed due to a more suitable and preferable site having been identified, even though that site is in the ownership of another retail provider.
The appeal was dismissed.