Result of the Public Inquiry held on 26th-27th October 2004

Decision of the
Planning Inspector

5. Turning to the Local Plan, BE1 promotes high standards of design whilst H1 establishes a phasing policy for housing development. GC1 and GC3 establish boundaries of the Green Belt, and seek to protect the visual amenities of such an area. DC1 requires that new build is sympathetic and appropriate to its location. Notwithstanding a limited number of 'Exceptions Categories', Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) - Restricting the Supply of New Housing - reinforces the need to accord with Structure Plan housing allocation.

6. Both parties have variously alluded to national guidance within the following Planning Policy Guidance Notes (PPG) and Planning Policy Statements (PPS). PPG1 - General Policy and Principles; PPG2 - Green Belts; PPS7 - Sustainable Development in Rural Areas; PPG 15 - Planning and the Historic Environment, and PPS 11 - Regional Spatial Strategies.


7. Sandown Hall was a large suburban villa built between 1823 and 1830 at Olive Lane, Wavertree, Liverpool. A two-storey double-pile property in the Classical style, it featured painted sandstone to the front and part of the side elevations, and principally brickwork to the rear. Within the five-bay front elevation the centre three bays were pedimented, and flanked by slightly recessed outer bays capped by a low parapet.

8. A Historic Building Report prepared by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England (RCHME) in 1995 recorded that ground floor accommodation included entrance and staircase halls, dining room, morning room, main bedroom and dressing rooms. A large drawing room and two further bedrooms were located on the first floor, with service bedrooms in the attic. The rear wing, which contained kitchen, stores and staff accommodation, was extended to the rear and side in the mid 19th Century providing a new dining room and bedrooms.

9. The property was approached by a curving driveway from Olive Lane to the south, and the grounds included the main area of grassland to the southern (front) elevation of the building which was framed by shelter belt tree planting. To the north west was a walled garden and glasshouses, together with other ancillary outbuildings.

10. Initially the home of prominent Liverpool merchants, in the late 1920's the property was sold to the Crawford Biscuit Company, who had a factory nearby. It became the base for the company's staff and social club until 1990 when the factory was closed and the Hall changed ownership. Sandown Hall was listed Grade II in 1952. In 1993 land to the north was sold for housing; in the same year planning permission and listed building consent was granted for the conversion of the Hall to a nursing home, although never implemented.

11. By the mid 1990's the property had suffered severe structural damage. Nevertheless, following a public inquiry in 1996, an application to demolish the property was dismissed by the Secretary of State for the Environment. At that time, the Inspector considered Sandown Hall to be of historic interest and a fine early example of the Greek revival style. The condition of the property continued to deteriorate, with a second public inquiry relating to demolition being held in 1998. Although this later Inspector agreed with the earlier analysis of his colleague regarding the quality and interest of the structure, for a number of reasons he recommended that listed building consent be granted for demolition.  In his decision letter dated June 2000, the Secretary of State accepted that the cost of restoring and refurbishing the building for a new use would be likely to exceed its subsequent value, and reluctantly agreed with the Inspector's recommendation.

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