New family home in Westminster conservation area

Westminster City Council have strict policies in place relating to lightwell infill, and many of the the principles set out in the recently adopted Basement Development Supplementary Planning Guidance are applied.

Therefore, when asked to provide planning support on a scheme to amalgamate two flats into one, creating a family home over three floors with infill of the lightwell to provide additional floor space, we anticipated the potential pitfalls of the application process.

As the site was located in a conservation area we split the application into two, thus making the process more straightforward.

The application to amalgamate the two flats into one was granted permission within the eight week determination period.  We followed this with the lightwell application.

In making our supporting case for the lightwell application,  we referenced the existing character and appearance of the street noting that lightwell infills are a feature found along the terrace.

In design terms, by proposing a partial rather than full infill and with the use of sympathetic and appropriate materials, we were able to demonstrate that there would be no resulting visual harm to the conservation area.

Ongoing discussion and negotiation with the planning officer meant that permission was granted.

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