Council demands resident puts right ‘harmful’ Accordia alterations
An Accordia homeowner may be forced to take down a number of modest extensions after the local authority refused retrospective planning permission for changes to the Stirling Prize-winning estate
Last week Cambridge City Council’s planning committee decided alterations to Benjamin Rudge’s home on Richard Foster Road were ‘harmful’ to the six year-old development.
The move comes three months after the Fielden Clegg Bradley, Maccreanor Lavington and Alison Brooks-designed neighbourhood won Conservation Area Status following an audacious bid by the residents’ association to safeguard Accordia’s ‘architectural uniformity’ through listing.
A council spokesperson confirmed Conservation Area Status was a ‘key part’ of vetoing Rudge’s alterations which included roofing over a first floor terrace and infilling a carport to create an extra room.
They said: ‘The application was called-in by a Councillor for decision by the City Council’s South Area Planning Committee which heard submissions from the owner, the architect, and objectors before then determining to refuse planning permission.
‘The proposals were considered to detract from the characteristic features of the terrace of which the property is part and to be harmful to the conservation area.’
The 9.5 hectare scheme – featuring 378 privately owned, shared ownership and socially rented houses – was described by Stirling Prize judges in 2008 as a ‘post-Thatcherite development that is not afraid of communal aspirations and aesthetics’.
In March, the AJ reported Accordia’s residents’ association was seeking statutory listing, conservation area status and an Article Four direction amid concerns extensions and unsympathetic replacement of materials could irreversibly damage the acclaimed development’s appearance.
Listing was rejected however the associations request for a more stringent Article Four direction to outlaw brickwork painting and all but ‘like-for-like’ door and window replacement is set to be considered by councillors.
The Conservation Area Status, approved in June, means all future works must ‘preserve or improve’ the district’s character.
Benjamin Rudge declined to comment.