Roof extension for building in Portsmouth heritage area rejected

A FAMILY'S plan to extend a city building has been blocked amid concerns over how it would blend in with a heritage area.

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 4:35 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 11:12 am

In a move blasted 'an utter disgrace' councillors narrowly voted to reject proposals for a one-storey roof extension - that would create a new two-bedroom flat - on the top of Fontenoy House in Old Portsmouth

A design for a one-storey expansion on the site, but for two flats, was granted in 2013 and then again in 2020. However, applicants Jason and Kate Phillips were seeking to add an extra 60 centimetres in height to accommodate insulation.

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How the one-storey extension to Fontenoy House in Old Portsmouth would have looked. From planning applciation papers

Speaking at a virtual planning meeting last week, Councillor Lee Hunt, said: 'This new proposal is overbearing and it's an overly dominant feature atop the recipient building by way of its mass scale and height.

'The materials and colours are incongruous, adversely impacting the street scene in a heritage area.'

Cllr Lynne Stagg added: 'I think it's totally out of character with the area.'

As part of the plans it was proposed alterations would also be made to the existing 1950s building, including new brickwork and the extension of the external staircase and balconies.

How Fontenoy House in Old Portsmouth currently looks. Picture: Carl Leroy-Smith Architect

Anthony Knight, chairman of the Fontenoy House leaseholders group, said: 'Despite various individual views the consensus is this design better than the existing planning application.'

Other councillors believed rejecting the plans could leave them at the mercy of a government planning inspector.

Cllr Matt Atkins said: 'I recognise the strength of feeling in the local area, they don't want a development on the roof of Fontenoy House.

'Could we really face the taxpayers of Portsmouth and say we can justify refusing this over 60 centimetres when it could go to the planning inspector?

How the extension to Fontenoy House in Old Portsmouth would have looked. From planning application papers

'I think we are wasting more time and council money if we refuse it. It's an utter disgrace.'

Cllr Luke Stubbs agreed. 'Any extra height is regrettable but we have been offered a justifiable reason for that,' he said.

A total of four councillors voted to reject the plans - with four voting against the refusal. Chairman Cllr David Fuller used his casting vote to refuse.

In 2019 the Phillips' sought permission for a two-storey extension that was voted down by both the committee and a planning inspector.

The site's permission from 2020 will remain valid until 2023.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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