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Developer to build extra floor above block of flats after winning planning appeal against Cambridge City Council

A developer will build another floor on top of an existing block of flats in Cambridge after winning a planning appeal.

The Planning Inspectorate overturned Cambridge City Council’s decision to refuse permission for the extension to Edeva Court in Wulfstan Way.

Edeva Court, Cambridge. Picture: Google
Edeva Court, Cambridge. Picture: Google

The proposals to build new flats on top of the existing building had been opposed by residents living in the block of flats, who argued it would be an overdevelopment.

Avon Ground Rent Ltd can now create a floor of three flats above the existing three-storey building, which includes 12 flats.

Residents claimed it would have a “permanent and irreversible adverse impact on the character and appearance” of the suburban area.

And councillors voiced concerns when they refused the application in February last year, claiming the plans “fail to provide high quality shared or private external amenity space for future residents”, which they said would “result in an overall poor standard of residential amenity”.

A representative of the developer argued the new flats would offer a “high standard of accommodation” and appealed.

An inspector decided the development would create “suitable living conditions” for people living in the new flats, saying: “The proposals would be a sensitive, upwards extension of the building adding three dwellings to the supply of housing within Cambridge.

“The design and materials have been considered to be acceptable by the council and I have no reason to disagree with this conclusion.

“The proposal would be above and close to residential properties and includes windows and balconies.

“I see no reason to disagree with the council that the living conditions of the occupants of neighbouring properties, with regard to privacy, would not be harmed by the proposal.

“Whilst I appreciate that everyone has the right to respect for their private and family life and their home, given my conclusions the proposal would not impinge on these rights.”

The inspector noted concerns about fire and structural safety and questions over whether a lift would be needed, but determined that these could be appropriately addressed through building regulations.

Concerns about the impact the development could have on the leasehold of the building were a civil matter that needed to be resolved between the relevant parties and was not a planning consideration, the inspector decided.

A condition should be included in the planning permission for noise insulation and attenuation to “preserve the living conditions of local residents”, the inspector added.

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