• Issue 35

  • Apr 2018

The Source

Interesting Appeal Decisions

Sustainable Location Outweighed by Primacy of the Development Plan

An Inspector dismissed an appeal against Derbyshire Dales for up to 17 dwellings. The Inspector admitted that the site has some sustainability credentials in terms of its location and would provide some economic and social benefits in terms of housing supply and local spend. However, for character and settlement boundary reasons, the Inspector concluded that the appeal proposal would be in conflict with the development plan and that there were no material considerations that would indicate that her decision should not be made other than in full accordance with that plan. The appeal was therefore dispatched readily.

Back to Front Scheme Dismissed in Oxfordshire

An Inspector dismissed an appeal by E & G King against Cherwell due to character and appearance. The main issue was that the settlement and the proposal were not complementary. The proposal faced the wrong way and was clearly different to the existing layout of Kirtlington. The access road for this site was too long and was deemed excessive given the fact that there were only ten dwellings proposed. The site was deemed visually harmful and therefore dismissed. There were no positive points raised, making this extremely difficult for any other decision to come about.

Dismissed as Local Plan Policy Requires Actual Local Support for Development

An appeal for a sustainable mixed use village extension comprising 325 dwellings at Newton-on-Trent was dismissed after the Inspector concluded that the development was not sustainable. The addition of 325 dwellings was not considered to be a sustainable form of development with regard to the spatial strategy and settlement hierarchy detailed in the recently adopted Local Plan. The Inspector saw no reason to depart from the housing distribution policies of the Local Plan. The most contentious issue with the appeal was whether the appellant could demonstrate ‘clear local support’ to justify a development which would exceed the limits set by policies LP2 and LP4. Whilst the Inspector was impressed with the consultation process in general, he concluded it was not thorough enough to satisfy the requirements of LP2 and LP4. As such the appeal was dismissed as it was considered unsustainable without sufficient local support.

Settlement Would Grow 7 Times More than Evidence Base Anticipated if Selby Scheme Allowed

An Inspector dismissed an appeal made by Sherwood Brothers Ltd for 108 dwellings in Thorpe Willoughby against Selby Council. Firstly, the Inspector concluded a supply exceeding 5 years could be demonstrated, agreeing that the inclusion of windfall sites, an 8% non-implementation rate and 5% buffer were appropriate, as the last 2 years had exceeded housing targets. Despite the site’s accessibility, the site was outside the development limit boundary, which was considered up-to-date and thus, the proposal would be contrary to policy. Furthermore, the council’s ‘Growth Options Report’ outlined between 61 and 83 new dwellings for Thorpe Willoughby. If allowed, the already permitted 486 dwellings would increase to 594; seven times that anticipated, and thus representing a disproportionate share of growth. Therefore despite concluding that there would be no harm to character of the area, because of the potential harm to the spatial strategy and the demonstrable five year housing land supply, the appeal was ultimately dismissed.

Harmful to Character and at Risk from Fuel Depot

An Inspector has dismissed an appeal against Bassetlaw District Council for 65 dwellings in Misterton. The Inspector found that the appeal site would fail to conserve the open rural character of the landscape and would cause significant harm to the character and appearance of the surrounding area. With the site being within close proximity to a petroleum storage depot the Inspector was not satisfied that a form of development could be secured without compromising public safety risks. A lack of evidence surrounding highway safety and protected species also worked against the appeal site. Despite the proposed development having benefits socially and economically, providing housing and affordable housing to an undersupplied area, the Inspector judged the negatives to outweigh the benefits and dismissed the appeal.

Valued Landscape Could Not be Overcome by Infrastructure Goodies

An Inspector has dismissed an appeal made by Admergill SASS Avalon SASS against the decision of Pendle Borough Council to refuse 70 dwellings in Brierfield. The main issue in this case was the proposal’s impact on landscape character and appearance. The Inspector was not persuaded by the argument put forward in the LVIA that the proposed loss of open greenspace would be off-set by the retention of the public routes and the provision of a high percentage of well landscaped public open space. Even taking into account the improvements to the surfacing and signposting of the routes, along with the proposed landscaping and ecological enhancements, the proposal would unacceptably undermine the characteristics of the landscape for which the appeal site is valued and would detract from the character and appearance of the area. Thus it would fail to safeguard or enhance the landscape character of the area or to protect and enhance valued landscapes. With this in mind, the Inspector felt it unnecessary to judge the site in terms of supply, for which the council claimed 5.1 years and the appellant claimed 4.24 years, and the appeal was dismissed.

Developer Allowed to Salvage 800 Dwelling Scheme Subject to Revised S106

The Secretary of State was minded to allow an appeal made by Hollamby Estates Ltd against the decision of Canterbury City Council for a new mixed use neighbourhood with up to 800 dwellings providing the submission of a revised and agreed planning obligation. The Secretary of State agreed with the Inspector regarding meeting local housing needs and found the proposed amount and type of affordable housing was not an adequate and reasonable contribution. The Secretary of State again agreed with the Inspector that the proposal would not deliver the Herne Relief Road at an acceptable stage in the development by reason of the phasing programme and the timing of the contribution to the Kent Bullockstone Road Infrastructure Scheme. He agreed that safe and suitable access to the site would not be achieved for all and the residual cumulative impact of the development would be severe throughout the construction phase. He went on to agree with the Inspector on matters of environmental and social impact, and physical infrastructure and human rights. The Secretary of State therefore set out a number of concerns relating to the affordable housing tenure split; the robustness of the planning obligation in securing 30% affordable housing; the provision of the necessary infrastructure to an acceptable timescale; and the provision of a proportionate contribution. On the basis of the material before him, he considered that these matters carried very significant weight against the appeal proposals. However, before making his final decision, he wished to give the appellant the opportunity to address these concerns via submission of a revised and agreed planning obligation. Subject to being satisfied that these concerns could be satisfactorily addressed, he allowed the appeal and granted planning permission.

SoS Allows 1,800 Dwellings at Isolated Surrey Aerodrome to Relieve Pressure on Greenfield

The Secretary of State has allowed an appeal at Dunsfold Park, Waverley, for the construction of a mixed-use development, including 1,800 homes. The development site makes up part of the new settlement at Dunsfold Aerodrome within the new Local Plan for which the Secretary of State agreed that the development is essential to relieve pressure on greenfield land but also to ensure the delivery of sufficient housing in the area. While the development has a moderate impact on the landscape and ancient woodland it was determined that the benefits from the scheme, especially the affordable housing, outweighed the impacts and the appeal was allowed.