Plans to erect a waterproof canopy in front of a listed building in Watford have been shot down.

The Boys & Girls Nursery Watford submitted an application in February to build the fabric cover over the front courtyard of Central Hall in Loates Lane.

It would have allowed the yard to be used as an external children’s playground with "much-needed protection" from the elements.

Watford Observer: How the proposed fabric canopy would have looked.How the proposed fabric canopy would have looked. (Image: SETH WHITE ARCHITECTS 2024)

The covering would have been erected between the ground and first floor windows to limit the visual impact on the building’s façade.

Watford Borough Council denied permission yesterday, April 11, as officers said the plans would cause “unacceptable harm to the character and appearance of the Estcourt Conservation Area and the locally listed building”.

It would have also had a “detrimental impact” on a neighbouring house as the fabric cover would have overshadowed their front garden and obscured their sunlight.

The building dates from 1869 when it was a Baptist church. It was used by Christian groups until it was left derelict in the 1990s before reopening as a day nursery in 2008.

Officers warned that the canopy would have obscured architectural features that contributed to its locally-listed status and posed an “incongruous element” in the area.