After a gruelling two-week inquiry, Planning Inspector John Braithwaite yesterday refused permission for a development which included a 29-storey tower block and 258 flats in Kennington, much to the relief of "Stop the Blocks", a group of concerned local residents, who were represented by Ryan Kohli of Cornerstone Barristers.
The Inspector determined that the site in Kennington, which is within 800m walking distance of the Elephant and Castle, is an "urban" rather than a "central" site. As a result he found that this form of incongruous dense development was inappropriate for the site and had a substantial adverse impact on the character of the area. Neighbouring residents had a justified expectation of good levels of daylight and sunlight, consistent with its urban location, as well as reasonable protection from overlooking into private gardens of some homes which would have resulted from the proposed development.
Finally, the Inspector determined that "less than substantial harm to a high degree of magnitude" would be caused to the setting and significance of the Grade II listed Kennington Water Tower, which was featured on Channel 4's Grand Designs. The Inspector agreed with "Stop the Blocks" that the High Rise tower would dominate the rare Victorian Water Tower and would substantially reduce its imposing character.
A copy of the Inspector's decision can be found HERE.