Published: 12:00, 08 September 2017 |
Updated: 10:42, 09 September 2017
A developer has lost its appeal to convert a prominent Canterbury office block into flats.
Planning inspector Nick Palmer sided with Canterbury City Council which had rejected the proposal for BT's Becket House building in New Dover Road.
He agreed that the development would result in the loss of irreplaceable office accommodation in a key central location.
The city council had rejected Telereal Trillium/British Telecommunications' proposal to turn the building into 118 homes.
It appealed the decision, prompting a planning inquiry in July.
Cllr Jenny Samper, chairman of the council's planning committee, said: "Naturally we are pleased the inspector has supported our decision.
"This is a building in a prime location that can still have a very important role to play in providing office accommodation in the city.
"If the appeal had been allowed, it would have been lost forever."
The council refused the application for reasons including the loss of employment floor space in the city, the impact on the local economy and the effect of the proposal on two adjoining conservation areas.
In his ruling, Mr Palmer concluded he had "[I]dentified harms to the character and appearance of the area and the local economy. There are no other matters that weigh in favour of the proposal that would alter the planning balance".
BT still uses parts of the building. The council says it will work with the company to explore future options to help it remain within the district.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating!
PLUS, register for free!.
Read our pick of the best holiday destinations. Whether its a weekend break, or something a little bit longer, we have reviewed a wide range of holidays.