INTERESTING APPEAL DECISIONS
The inspector has dismissed an appeal made by an individual against Cornwall Councils refusal of 100 dwellings.
Character and Appearance
The proposal would be seen to varying degrees as a dominating and obtrusive form of development. This would be despite intentions to design the scheme to take into account the contours alongside the setting pf buildings into the slope. Although the site lies within an Area of Great Landscape Value, the inspector concluded that the proposed development would cause unacceptable harm to the character and appearance of the surrounding area. Ultimately this decision was made irrespective of whether or not the site is in a location of relatively lower landscape sensitivity than other parts of the settlement edge.
It was decided at hearings that the proposed development would not represent rounding off of the settlement and the inspector agreed with this decision. It is also not possible to consider the site as infill due to the substantial size of the site and proposed number of units (100 dwellings) and the fact that it is not previously developed land. The inspector concluded the site does not represent a rural exception site either due to the unacceptable harm to the character and appearance of the surrounding area, deeming the site unsuitable for the location.
For these reasons, the appeal was dismissed.
An appeal made by Burghes Estate against the decision of Tendring District Council to refuse 85 dwellings was dismissed.
The tilted balance concludes a breach of the Green Gap Policy EN2. This would bring the fringe of Frinton too close to the boundary of neighbouring Kirkby- le- Soken. Similarly, Policy QL1 which refers to development beyond the settlement boundary held little weight due to Tendring significantly lacking a 5-year housing land supply.
The tilted balance continues to emphasise the positives of the proposal including additional housing and affordable housing contributions. The sustainable location and moderate benefits of new open space, ecological enhancements and economic benefits. However, the weight attached to Policy EN2 outweighed the benefits that come from the proposal.
Overall, despite the positive contributions from the Section 106 agreement and the minimal ecology impacts the tilted balance result including the significant weight given to Policy EN2 outweighed any positive aspects.
An appeal made by Pennyfarthing Homes against the decision of New Forest Council to refuse 42 dwellings was allowed.
The main issue in this appeal was whether the proposal would provide an acceptable level and mix of affordable housing. The Core Strategy requires that on all proposals on greenfield sites released to meet the identified need they should provide 70% affordable housing. However, the inspector disagreed and concluded that the appellant’s viability evidence demonstrated that an adequate amount of affordable housing was proposed within the scheme.
The appeal site lies within the zone of influence of the New Forest and Solent Coast European Nature Conservation Sites. Following an Appropriate Assessment and consultation with Natural England, the Inspector is satisfied that appropriate mitigation proposals are incorporated.
Concerns raised included those in respect to the Green Belt, more suitable land to develop, pressure on local services, pressure on sewage systems, trees, access to services and facilities, light pollution, flood risk, noise, odour, pollution, character and appearance, tourism impact, safeguarding of school pupils, proposal design, safety and crime, and second homes. The inspector concluded that these concerns do not outweigh against the proposals benefits.
The inspector has dismissed an appeal made an individual against South Norfolk Councils refusal of 83 dwellings.
The inspector concluded that the SHMA calculations had not been tested through a rigorous plan examination therefore they should not be considered a starting point for calculating supply, nor have other appeals used them in their considerations. In addition to this the joint core strategy requirement is greatly outdated. Due to a lack of a housing supply statement produced in accordance with the new NPPF, it was stated that there was not a deliverable supply of housing and therefore paragraph 11d is engaged.
The inspector was not persuaded that impacts from a number of views would diminish over time through landscaping and was of the opinion that over time the scheme would remain prominent and the landscape irretrievably lost.
Whilst its recognised that the scheme would be well connected to public transport and amenities, and acceptable in terms of highway safety, the concern was related to the topography of the access. This was attributed to the fact that it undulates and is abruptly and unusually steep and therefore an issue for those who are less able as well as dangerous in adverse weather conditions.
An appeal made by Weston Homes against the decision of Southend-on-Sea Council to refuse 92 dwellings was allowed.
Whilst the proposal’s provision of affordable housing would conflict with the core strategy, it would meet national guidance and in light of the councils housing land supply position (2.97 years) the inspector deemed that it would be unjustified refusing the appeal on such a relatively small sum of financial provision.
It was deemed that providing a travel pack to each dwelling promoting non-private vehicle means of travel alongside a financial contribution towards education provision to increase classes at Chase High School would mitigate against the effects of the development.
An appeal made by Lovell Partnerships Limited against the decision of Blackpool Council to refuse 86 dwellings was allowed.
In the absence of a 5-year supply of deliverable housing sites the presumption in favour of sustainable development should apply unless adverse impacts of the scheme significantly outweigh the benefits or specific policies in the Framework indicate otherwise. The evidence indicates that the adverse impacts alleged would not materialise and hence would not outweigh the identified benefits of the proposal.
Environmentally, no unacceptable visual impact is identified, and the drainage measures proposed would reduce flood risks. The existing greenspace is of poor quality and landscaping, tree protection and some ecological enhancement (all to be required by condition) could achieve some environmental enhancement.
An appeal made by YPG Developments Limited against the decision of North East Lincolnshire Council to refuse 86 dwellings was allowed.
Predicated traffic generation levels from the site would have a detrimental impact on the already heavily trafficked local road network. However, the proposed mitigation (including highway CIL contribution) would adequately address potential detrimental impacts on highway safety arising from the additional traffic generation. Thus, the proposal would not have an unacceptable effect on highway safety and the free flow traffic (taking into account NPPF para. 108 and 109).