• Issue 40

  • Sep 2018

The Source

INTERESTING APPEAL DECISIONS

Horsham refusal based on poor site

An Inspector concluded that 35 dwellings in Horsham should be dismissed due to impact on character and appearance, development not complementing the locality, existing living conditions damaged by the sense of being enclosed, potential disruption and lack of mitigation for ecology, surface water pooling, highway safety’s recommendation that access be relocated and the percentage of affordable housing. The Inspector did not suggest the dismissal was in any way related to Horsham’s planning position and supply.”

Wrong kind of facilities

An Inspector concluded that 21 dwellings in Ridgewell, Braintree should be dismissed on the grounds that services in the settlement within a reasonable distance were not the sort of facilities to provide everyday need; and nonetheless, would need to be driven to. The development would not add local distinctiveness to the character of the landscape and would impact on the setting of listed buildings, the conservation area and a scheduled monument. It was agreed the Council had only 4.33 years housing supply, although greater weight was attributed to the conservation of heritage assets. “

9 year housing supply insufficient to protect Council from 30 new dwellings

An application for 30 residential dwellings on previously developed land in Crondall, Hart was allowed at appeal despite the District Council being able to demonstrate a 9 year supply of deliverable housing sites. Concerns regarding the impact of the application scheme on the character and setting of the countryside and nearby conservation area were sidelined by the Inspector who attributed these minor changes less than substantial weight, stating that the impacts would be localised and effectively mitigated to comply with overriding local policies. It was concluded that the proposed development would supply 30 new dwellings at a site which is visually and functionally well located to the village and would include 40% affordable housing, much needed in an area of high housing demand. These benefits, along with on-site open space and financial contributions, led the Inspector to ultimately overturn the council’s decision and allow the appeal.”

A step too far for Maldon

An appeal made by Endurance Estates Strategic Land Ltd against Maldon’s refusal of 45 dwellings in Heybridge has been dismissed, despite the Inspector finding a number of benefits, mainly economic, but also bolstering housing supply, accessible public open space and enhanced biodiversity. However, as the Council can demonstrate a suitable supply of housing land – which is not to be seen as an upper limit, it has implications for the policy context for determining this appeal. Alongside this, the Inspector acknowledged that the land is not covered by any specific landscape designation but judged that its value derives from the fact that it will form the immediate rural setting at the edge of a Garden Suburb; its intrinsic value is, in effect its openness. The public benefits arising from the scheme were not sufficient to outweigh the original refusal so the appeal was dismissed.”

Scheme with minimal harm near preston given the green light

An appeal made by Bellway Homes Ltd against the decision of South Ribble BC to refuse 193 homes in Bamber Bridge, has been allowed. In short, South Ribble’s case to initially refuse the application was proven to be flawed on all levels. The Inspector particularly drew attention to the council’s lack of supply, the minimal impact on landscape and character of the area and the affordable housing and economic benefits that the project would bring when allowing the appeal.”

5.02 years housing land supply sufficient to prevent North Norfolk scheme

An appeal against North Norfolk’s refusal of 200 dwellings in North Walsham has been dismissed after consideration as to whether the proposal would accord with the Core Strategy. The Inspector found clear conflict in both policies SS 1 and SS 2 which refer to North Norfolk’s spatial strategy and the limited development of countryside. Potential landscape benefits were only given limited weight and the Inspector acknowledged that development would boost housing and affordable supply. However, North Norfolk could fulfil their housing requirement with 5.02 years land supply. Highways improvements were also acknowledged as a benefit but given only moderate weight due to concern as to whether the proposed roundabout could legitimately mitigate the impacts of development and the Inspector concluded that adverse impacts outweighed any potential benefits.”