A planned development has been branded "intrusive" by Havering Council, which refused a proposal to build a block of flats behind a carpet shop.

Applicant HighPoint Properties had made an application to build a four-storey block which would contain seven two-bed flats on land behind North Street in Romford.

But the council, which received the proposal on February 12, rejected the plans on June 7.

Planning officers labelled the development "unacceptable."

The flats would have stood at the back of 157-159 North Street, but the council stated it would be out of character with the surrounding area.

"The proposed development would [...] give rise to a cramped appearance, dominant, overbearing, unneighbourly and visually intrusive feature in the rear garden environment."

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Under its conditions and reasons for refusal, the council also took issue with the lack of family homes provided under the plans which run contrary to its housing requirements.

In a design and access statement from Dovetail Architects, supporting the application, it states that the site has been in use as open storage for North Street Carpets and Beds.

The architect said that the proposal would retain a smaller part of the site for commercial activity, but reduce it to make space for the flats.

"Redevelop[ing] underused land to provide better organised commercial space as well as new residential buildings [which] will provide a boost to the local area," the statement argued.

The architects went on to say the development would provide "much needed" residential accommodation.

"The current layout of the site does not represent an efficient use of the space available," it added.

But despite claims the site could fit both commercial space and flats, with minimal disruption to residents from deliveries, the council had other ideas.

"The development [...] would give rise to poor quality isolated and piecemeal development which would undermine the wider aspirations for the site and surrounding area."

The likely quality of accommodation would also be poor, the council felt.

"The development, providing no communal amenity space, [which] would give rise to substandard levels of residential accommodation to the detriment of the amenity of the prospective occupiers."

Despite the council's refusal, the applicant has the chance to appeal the decision.

You can follow the application's progress using code P0208.24 on Havering Council's website.