A planning application on the Depot in Priory Road has been rejected by MHDC’s Southern Area Development Committee. This application was to restore No.10 Priory Road and Garden House, and to demolish No.12 Priory Road (known as The Coach House). A 3-storey apartment block was also to have been built on the site, adjacent to the eastern boundary of Priory Park.

Clive Hooper, Chairman of Malvern Civic Society, said: “I am delighted that the District Council has rejected the planning application concerning the Depot in Priory Road. The whole of the uppermost floor of the proposed apartment block would have been visible over the top of the wall. This would have significantly obstructed the splendid eastern view from the park, and also affected the privacy of park users. It is good to note that MHDC has listened to the objections which have been raised about this application.”

He continued: “The Civic Society has strongly supported the advice of Historic England, and particularly the Victorian Society, in opposing the proposed demolition of The Coach House. This would have resulted in the loss of a notable historic building and unjustified harm to the significance of the Malvern Conservation Area.”

As the NPPF [National Planning Policy Framework] makes clear, developments within conservation areas should respond to local character and history, and reflect the identity of local surroundings and materials; account should also be taken of the desirability of sustaining and enhancing the significance of heritage assets and putting them to viable uses consistent with their conservation.

Mr Hooper concluded: “The rejection of the planning application is a victory for those who care about the town’s wonderful heritage. It should also now give the applicant, with the Council’s support, the opportunity to explore the option of re-designing proposals, including retaining and converting The Coach House, so as to preserve its intrinsic merits and the positive contribution it makes to the Malvern Conservation Area.”