A PLANNING application for permission to renovate a roof on a community building has been refused. Staffordshire Moorlands District Council has, through delegated decision, refused permission of an application for the “removal of existing roof tiles and replacing with single ply membrane” on the roof of The Guild Hall in Cheadle. Those who run the community building say that the planning permission refusal will “probably result in increased project costs and an unwelcome delay” in their bid to give the hall's roof a much-needed makeover.
In his decision notice for the refusal of permission, SMDC planning officer Ben Haywood, said: “Single ply membrane is a very functional, largely featureless material that lacks the texture, shape, pattern and colouration of the tiles that are already on the roof of the Guild Hall and the adjacent buildings.
“The roof tiles on the adjacent and nearby late 18th and 19th century buildings and terraced properties are mainly Staffordshire blue plain clay tiles and they make a significant contribution to the special character of the area and historic environment.
“While the existing tiles on the Guild Hall are not made from clay and are somewhat larger, the building has a different architecture to the terraced properties to the north and south and the pattern and texture of its existing tiles do help to maintain continuity in the appearance of materials within the street scene.”
He added that: “Replacing the tiles on the Guild Hall with the membrane would introduce a material on exposed and prominent roof plains that would relate poorly to and fail to compliment the character and appearance of the Guild Hall itself; the adjacent and nearby buildings; the special character of the area and historic environment; and materials that are traditional to the Staffordshire Moorlands in general.
“The proposal therefore, does not represent well designed, high quality development that adds value to the local area and it does not incorporate detailing and materials appropriate to the character of the area.”
The application for the planning permission, which received no objections from members of the public or from Cheadle Town Council, was submitted by Peter Lucas on behalf of the management committee which runs the Guild Hall.
Peter, who is the finance officer at St Giles RC Church which owns the property, said: “We are naturally disappointed by the (district) council’s decision to refuse our application to replace the majority of the Guild Hall roof using a modern, efficient product.
“It seems that the council have an objection to anything that isn’t a tile or slate format.
“It would be true to say that the preferred product might not be considered to be a ‘traditional material’ – that said the existing slates are ‘non-traditional’ asbestos.”
As for their next steps in trying to refurbish the Guild Hall’s roof, Mr Lucas said: “Any appeal (against the planning decision) could be time consuming and may ultimately not be fruitful.
“Therefore we will take on board the planning officer’s comments and instruct our architect to consider alternative materials.”
However, he added that: “This will possibly result in increased project costs and an unwelcome delay.”
In the autumn, the management committee at the Guildhall ran a public consultation to gain views and ideas about the Guild Hall from members of the public, to use when they go for funding for the new roof project.
Mr Lucas said: “We would like to thank members of the public who took the time to complete our survey during October 2018.
“Over 450 responses were received, which are now being analysed and will form part of future grant applications.
“Any comments or suggestions made in the questionnaires will be taken on board, and where appropriate action taken.”
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