Our Objection to the latest Regent House planning application

On behalf of Leicester Civic Society I would like to object to applications 20232213 and 20232214.

Although the current applications do seek to address some of the issues that led to the rejection of the previous applications (20222167 and 20222168), there are still some issues with the updated designs.
The new proposal for the mansard roof on the grade II listed Regent House is less imposing in scale than the previous design, but it still does not fit with the existing building. In their response to the new proposal Historic England state that the addition of an extra storey that is visible over the parapet and cornice would be an “alien and inappropriate design feature”. The building was originally designed so that the roof is almost entirely hidden, even when viewed from further up Regent Road. This can be verified by checking the surroundings on Streetview. The addition of an extra storey would negatively affect the overall architectural design of the listed building. This clash of architectural styles has also been noted by the Conservation Advisory Panel. The revised proposals also do not address the issue of the colour contrast between the façade of the building and the new mansard roof, which was raised as a concern with the previous applications.

The Civic Society remains concerned about the building proposed for the car park site on the south side of Regent Road. Currently the open nature of this site and the trees contribute positively to the character of this side of the New Walk Conservation Area, which is mentioned in the conservation area character appraisal. Historic England also note that it allows the façade of the listed Regent House to be appreciated.

The new design for this building is an improvement on the previous proposal in terms of the height when compared to the surrounding buildings on Regent Road and West Street. There is still a concern though that the current proposal will have a negative impact on the surrounding houses in terms of natural light. Both Regent Road and Tigers Way slope downwards away from the car park site, so it would potentially not take a building of great size to start blocking the light available for these properties.

For the reasons stated above, I urge the Planning Department and the Planning and Development Control Committee to refuse planning permission in relation to these two applications.

Regards

Stu Simmonds
Senior Conservation Officer
Leicester Civic Society

Our Objection to the latest Regent House planning application