Refusal of 75 flats at Zurich House upheld on appeal

jpco-2-5-12 Zurich House (Pic by Jon Rigby) ENGSUS00120120426150655
jpco-2-5-12 Zurich House (Pic by Jon Rigby) ENGSUS00120120426150655

A council decision to refuse plans to demolish Southgate’s Zurich House and build 75 has been upheld on appeal.

East Street Homes’ application for 75 homes on the site in East Park was refused by Crawley Borough Council’s Planning Committee in September.

Objectors raised concerns with the level of parking provided, with just 42 spaces planned, road safety, congestion, the effect of the development on the character of the area, and a loss of privacy for neighbouring properties.

The developer appealed against the council’s decision but this has been dismissed by a planning inspector.

Michael Pickett, a Labour Crawley borough councillor for Southgate, described the result as a ‘victory’ for residents. He added: “Residents had opposed this development every step of the way and their actions have now been vindicated.”

In his report inspector Graham Chamberlain wrote: “The successful redevelopment of the appeal site is challenging as it is caught between two significantly different character areas.

“The appeal scheme has been designed as a genuine and considered attempt to respond to this context.

“However, it would be unsuccessful as it would have insufficient regard to the scale and massing of the buildings in East Park. I therefore conclude that the proposal would harm the character and appearance of the area.”

In the meantime a fresh scheme for 66 flats with 66 parking spaces has been submitted to the council for the Zurich House site.

Previous consent for 59 flats, approved by Crawley Borough Council back in 2013, had expired.

A prior application for a block of 69 flats ranging was refused back in 2011.