Architectural importance means windows plan is refused

A CHICHESTER city-centre shop has lost an appeal to replace its front windows because of the impact it would have on the architectural importance of the listed building.

Between the Lines, at 79 North Street, made two applications, both retrospective to replace the windows at the front the shop, but they were refused because it would have ‘a harmful impact on the special architectural and historic interest of the listed building and on the character and appearance of the conservation area’, according to the appeal inspector.

The two applications were refused by Chichester District Council in September because they were to the ‘detriment of the character and appearance of the Grade II Listed Building’.

The appeal inspector, J Armstrong said: “There are other shop windows in the vicinity which are not sub-divided but equally there are many, including some very similar to the appeal premises, which are, and which have thereby succeeded in retaining or reviving a more traditional appearance.

“While it has been argued that the change was necessitated by the use of thicker glass for security reasons, other premises appear to have resolved this matter and indeed I note that the sub-divisions have been retained in the other window of the appeal premises which fronts the adjoining alley.

“My finding is that the unauthorised alteration, while small, has a harmful impact on the special architectural and historic interest of the listed building and on the character and appearance of the Conservation Area.

“I find no public benefit to weigh against this harm which could justify the alteration.

“It is therefore contrary to policies in the Chichester District Local Plan First Review (1999), particularly BE5 which requires alterations to listed buildings to be appropriate in design and BE6 which refers to the need for shop fronts to accord with the character and appearance of the Conservation Area.”