Plans to demolish a former bakery in St Albans have been approved after "factual errors" were discovered in a heritage statement, which contributed to the initial refusal of the application.

A plan for the partial demolition of an existing rear structure, including the loss of a workshop previously used as a bakery, was approved for 6 Ashwell Street following an appeal on December 21.

Alterations to existing rear habitable accommodation, alterations to boundary walls and the reintroduction of a courtyard garden are also included.

A decision notice on August 4 stated: "It has not been sufficiently demonstrated to the local planning authority that the part demolition of rear workshop, the alterations to the rear and the alterations to the boundary walls would not adversely impact upon the character and appearance of the conservation area and the character and appearance of the locally listed building.

"The council hereby refuse the development proposed by you."

However, planning permission was later granted, with an appeal notice adding: "I note that from reading the appellant’s submitted Heritage Statement (HS), it contains a number of factual errors.

"The HS states that the building is Grade II-listed, whereas the building is confirmed by the council as being a Locally Listed Building, or non-designated heritage asset.

"The HS also mentions that the building is Georgian in design and dates from the eighteenth century. This is also incorrect as judging by the construction and design of the building, it is clearly Victorian in design and would appear to date from the late nineteenth century.

"Given these inaccuracies, I am not convinced of the contents of the HS accurately reflect the building in question, or its significance and I therefore give limited weight to this document."


With little weight given to the heritage statement, the notice later added: "I conclude that the proposal is generally appropriate and would be compliant with the development plan."

A design and access statement, included within the application, explains that the appearance of the front of 6 Ashwell Street "won't be changed" and the removal of part of the workshop will have "very little impact on the conservation area".

The appeal notice concluded: "Whilst I agree that the proposed demolition/reconstruction would be harmful to the significance of the locally listed building, on balance the harm is justified by the benefits of the development."