• Issue 46

  • Apr 2019

The Source

INTERESTING APPEAL DECISIONS

Spencers Wood, Wokingham (55 dwellings) – Allowed

The inspector has allowed an appeal made by Taylor Wimpey against Wokingham Council’s refusal of 55 dwellings.

Location

The inspector concluded the site location was in accordance with the development plan (Policy CP9). The inspector noted the proposed levels of SANG were significantly above the minimum requirement, in terms of the SANG it was concluded the proposed development would not have a cumulative adverse effect on the nearby SPA.

Coalescence

In terms of coalescence of the two settlements, whilst there would be some reduction in the gap, the harm would be limited and the SANG provision would benefit in preventing coalescence in the long run as it would be a public facility secured in perpetuity by a planning obligation.

Settlement Boundaries

In terms of using a site adjacent to the defined settlement limits, the inspector concluded they were out of date because they are based upon a superseded housing requirement. Therefore the proposal should be considered in general accordance with the policies of the development plan that were considered up to date. Owing to the above the appeal was allowed.

Exeter, Exeter City (48 dwellings) – Allowed

An appeal made by Westco Properties LTD against Exeter City Council’s refusal of a full application for 48 dwellings has been allowed by the inspector.

Headed to the appeal, it was established by all parties that the LPA could not demonstrate a 5 year supply of housing, nor that there was any conflict with the development plan. The material considerations of the inspector were highway safety and the free flow of traffic.

Highways

The LHA concluded with its consultation response that whilst there would be some negative impacts on the local highway network as a result of the proposal, the situation would not be dissimilar to numerous other roads in Exeter. This was supported by the applicant’s TA and the inspector concluded in the context of the Framework the impact on the highways would not be severe. The inspector also identified positive transport aspects of the scheme as it was well related to the surrounding streets and would secure a new footpath/cycle link. Overall the proposal concluded with the development plan, the impact on the highways would not be severe and therefore the appeal was allowed.

Wymeswold, Charnwood (25 dwellings) – Dismissed

The inspector has dismissed an appeal made by Avant Homes against Charnwood Council’s refusal of 25 dwellings.

Location

The appeal site would be outside the settlement boundary identified for the village in the council’s adopted Plan, however only limited weight can be attached to existing defined boundaries as they have not been reviewed since 2004 and are therefore considered out-of-date. Also, future residents of the site would be heavily reliant on private car use which would be an unsustainable outcome that weighs against the scheme.

Contributions

The inspector considered the S106 in light of CIL (2010 as amended) regulations and with regard to the Framework. Number of concerns raised by the inspector, namely whether it could be relied on to secure the proposed contributions as it contains a number of hand-written alterations that none of the parties could attribute to an author, and it was missing a date within one of the schedules. Also, a number of obligations did not meet the statutory obligations.

Character and Appearance

The scheme would provide a mix of housing, including affordable homes, and this would be a significant public benefit. However, the proposed housing would fail to preserve the character and appearance of the area, nor preserve the setting of a listed church.

Maidenhead, Windsor & Maidenhead (14 dwellings) – Allowed

The inspector has allowed an appeal made by a Mr & Mrs Goyal against Windsor and Maidenhead Council’s refusal of 14 dwellings.

Character and Appearance

Regarding the character of the area the inspector agreed with the decision of an earlier inspector that the new building does not need to replicate the size of the previous one located on site. Primarily because the mixture of buildings in the area has no prevailing height or scale.

Moreover, despite the council indicating that future residents would likely want to prune nearby trees to gain more light, the potential impact on the character and appearance of the area would not be so detrimental as to warrant a refusal.

Affordable Housing

The inspector concludes that despite the Framework suggesting all major developments should have at least 10% affordable housing there was no compelling evidence to suggest this should override local policy. With Policy H3 stating that only schemes over 15 units need to include affordable housing contributions. On this basis the inspector agreed affordable housing was not required.

Moorends, Doncaster (23 dwellings) – Allowed

The inspector allowed an appeal by D Noble Limited against Doncaster Council’s refusal of 23 dwellings.

Highways

The inspector raised no issue in regard to highways due to the scheme’s access coming through a 20mph speed limit and being located at the end of a cul-de-sac, aligned with the surrounding estate; therefore concluding it would be safe. Moreover, the council’s own highways officer had not raised any objection to the scheme.

Living Conditions

The council stated that, by their very nature, the additional vehicular and pedestrian trips could harm the amenity of existing residents but does not state exactly how that harm would occur or that any harm would be unacceptable. The inspector found however that any impact would only likely affect future potential residents of the scheme.

Little Plumstead, Broadland (84 dwellings) – Dismissed

The inspector dismissed an appeal by Glavenhill Strategic Land against Broadland Council’s refusal of 84 dwellings.

Location

The inspector has stated that the development would promote unsustainable patterns of growth. This is due to the villages being compact and offering a limited range of services. The inspector informs of the village only being able to support allocations of between 10-20 dwellings. With 84 dwellings causing an issue that is awarded significant weight.

Character and Appearance

Regarding the character and appearance, the inspector has written about how the development would contribute to the loss of an attractive open space which forms the setting of the wider village. This is categorised as a main issue by the inspector and something that other positives of the development cannot overcome.

Housing Land Supply

Furthermore, the inspector mentions how the council cannot demonstrate the required supply of housing. This is due to other inquiry proceeding findings that the council were unable to demonstrate the required supply. The inspector uses this to determine along with the recent SHMA to conclude that there does not seem to be a supply within the district. However, this has a shadow cast upon it by the other issues at play within this appeal and therefore the appeal is dismissed.

Stalbridge, North Dorset (98 dwellings) – Dismissed

The inspector dismissed an appeal by Lightwood Strategic Ltd against North Dorset Council’s refusal of 98 dwellings.

Conservation Area

When considering all aspects of this appeal, the inspector concluded that the less than substantial harm to the significance of the conservation area (CA), together with the adverse impacts upon the character and appearance of the area, significantly and demonstrably outweighed the suggested economic benefits of the proposal. The inspector considered this harm to be the main reason to dismiss the appeal.

Character and Appearance

Following a site visit, the inspector agreed with the LPA that the appeal site forms part of a valued landscape and occupies a sensitive location within the CA and on the upper slopes of the North Dorset Limestone Ridge Landscape Character Area. Due to this and coupled with views across the Blackmore Vale, the inspector stated that the adverse impacts of the proposal heavily outweighed the potential public benefits of the development and consequently dismissed the appeal.