GUIDANCE ON VALUATION ASSUMPTIONS POST 2007 ECONOMIC CRASH AS PROPOSALS FOR LISTED CINEMA ‘ENABLING DEVELOPMENT' REJECTED BY INSPECTOR
An inspector has refused planning permission and listed building consent for the proposal by the Resurrection Manifestations Church to redevelop the derelict Grade II* listed Art Deco-style Carlton Cinema building in Essex Road, Islington. The proposal had been to refurbish the listed building and add a two-storey basement extension, a two-storey roof extension and a seven-storey rear extension, in order to create a complex comprising 44 flats, a 2,300-seat theatre, 520-seat banqueting hall,110-seat cinema, conference rooms and a day-care centre. The scheme was put forward on the basis that it constituted ‘enabling development': otherwise unacceptable development that was needed to fund the restoration works and ensure the long-term future of the building. The decision is of particular interest in the way in which it deals with the approach to valuation assumptions post the 2007 economic crash and the consequences where the lender bank refuses to sign up to a section 106 unilateral obligation.
The Inspector approved and applied the English Heritage guidance document Enabling Development and the Conservation of Significant Places and PPS5 policy HE11. The owners had not demonstrated by engineering, commercial or valuation evidence that:
- the ‘enabling development' was the minimum necessary to secure the future of the building, and of a type that minimised harm to the building itself (paragraphs , ,  to ).
- development contrary to the development plan was necessary to resolve problems arising from the inherent needs of the listed building, rather than the financial problems of the current owners who needed to recoup their high purchase price (paragraphs to );
- there were no other options that might need less or no ‘enabling' development, as they did not properly evaluate alternatives or offer the property on the open market (paragraphs  to );
- the development would be technically feasible, the restoration would be delivered, nor that the project would be commercially viable (paragraphs , , ,  to ).
Gregory Jones QC appeared for Islington London Borough Council.