Consent will be refused for the demolition of an unlisted building in a conservation area unless:
(i) the building does not make a positive contribution to the area's character or appearance as assessed against the area character appraisal where available; or
(ii) the condition of the building and the cost of repairing and maintaining it outweigh its importance, and every possible effort has been made, without success to continue the existing use or to find a suitable alternative use.
Applications for consent to demolish should be accompanied by an associated planning application for the comprehensive redevelopment of the site.
View HE2 on the proposed modifications map here.
Demolition of buildings or structures within conservation areas can potentially harm the character or appearance of an area. Therefore, demolition and alteration are only acceptable where all other options have been thoroughly assessed or demolition would benefit the area. The city council will require testable evidence to demonstrate that every practical effort has been made to continue to use the building. Conservation Area Consent will not be granted unless there is an extant planning permission. Any proposals to demolish will be assessed against the same broad criteria that would apply to listed buildings, unless the unlisted structure makes little or no contribution to the area.
Assessment would, therefore, be based upon the building's overall condition; the cost of repairing and maintaining it; the usability of the functional space within it, and the merits of the alternative proposals for the site.
Within many of the city's conservation areas the quality of some past developments could be viewed as having a detrimental impact on the appearance, character and integrity of a conservation area. The removal of buildings and structures which are recognised as detracting from the special character or appearance of a conservation area may provide the opportunity for sensitive redevelopment. The University of Southampton's Halls of Residence at South Stoneham tower block within the Itchen Valley Conservation Area may be considered for demolition by the University within the plan period. Associated proposals for replacement student housing within the South Stoneham complex, which bring an enhancement to the character or appearance of the area, judged through comparison with the current impact of the tower block on the locality against an assessment of the character or appearance of a redevelopment proposal of the complex, will be treated sympathetically. In assessing the merits of such proposals, regard will be paid to the presence of the existing tower block which is a dominant and unsightly feature in the conservation area. The possibility of more sensitive low-rise student housing within the grounds of South Stoneham/ Connaught Complex could then be pursued.