THE overhaul of a large office building for more than 30 homes has been thrown out as ‘significantly harmful’.

Bucks Council has refused an outline planning application submitted by BMO Real Estate Partners relating to the PerkinElmer site, on Chalfont Road, in Seer Green.

Plans had outlined the demolition of the existing 3,562-sqm building – believed to be for research and development – and the redevelopment for up to 31 properties in ‘a range of sizes’ (40 per cent affordable), with parking.

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More than 160 locals were notified about the scheme, documents indicated.

But the council found the new development would fail on affordable housing provision, and result in “significant harm to the openness of the Green Belt”.

Bucks Free Press:

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“The development would likely have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt than the existing development and would fail to provide a policy complaint level of affordable housing,” read a decision notice.

“The proposal therefore constitutes inappropriate development, which is harmful by definition to the Green Belt.

“The proposal would also result in significant harm to the openness of the Green Belt and would fail to safeguard the Green Belt from encroachment. There are no very special circumstances apparent to outweigh this harm.”

It also stated there is “insufficient evidence” to demonstrate the site “would not be suitable for continued commercial and employment use”.

The council also found the level of affordable housing “falls short” and no social rented accommodation is proposed.

A planning statement on behalf of the applicant, however: “As a sensitively designed residential scheme could be accommodated on the site without impacting the openness or resulting in significant effects to the surrounding character, it is considered redevelopment would be acceptable and is a valuable asset in contributing towards the Chiltern housing land supply.

“The site is currently occupied by PerkinElmer Ltd as their UK and European headquarters, but it is no longer considered to be suitable and efficient for their operations, so will be vacating in 2022 and relocating to alternative premises.”

It added the housing mix would have met “demand in the area and represents an appropriate mix for this redevelopment”.

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