5 new houses in Shropshire
We are celebrating another planning success following the approval of a scheme for 5 new houses in Wellington, Shropshire.
The site is an unused, overgrown paddock situated at the end of an existing cul-de-sac known as Donnerville Drive.
The scheme involves a new vehicular access taken from the end of the Drive, together with a substantial area of public open space on approx. half of the site, including a new public footpath link to connect to an adjacent public footpath/cycleway.
The proposal faced a number of challenges. Planning permission for a similar scheme for 5 dwellings had been refused in 2004 on the grounds that the development was not considered to be an appropriate ‘windfall site’, that the site was designated as ‘Green Network’ in the then operative Local Plan, and that the proposal would result in the loss of, or damage to a number of important trees at the site, which were then made the subject of a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).
This decision was over 14 years old and we considered that the circumstances since the refusal, particularly local and national planning policies regarding the delivery of housing, had changed materially and significantly, and concluded that a strong case could now be made for approval.
However it was recognised that the resurrection of the scheme would still face various planning and technical challenges, not least because the ‘Green Network’ designation remained in force under the current Local Plan that contains policies to retain ‘green’ areas such as this, and the TPO continues to protect a group of trees at the site entrance through which the access would need to be constructed.
Our pre-application discussions with the planners indicated a positive attitude towards a new proposal and advice was also obtained from a planning barrister as to how best to present the case for development.
We submitted the planning application in May 2019, accompanied by Ecological, Arboricultural and Drainage/Flood Risk Assessment reports, and our detailed Planning Support Statement which demonstrated that the proposal was appropriate in all respects.
The application attracted perhaps predictable opposition from local residents, whilst consultees raised various issues which required detailed resolution, including the need to check for the presence of Great Crested Newts, dealing with the impact on a nearby listed building, and the impact of the proposal on the protected trees.
Ongoing discussions with the planners resulted in other detailed amendments to the design and layout, whilst a legal agreement was completed to deliver a requested financial contribution towards recreational provision.
The application was reported to the Council’s Planning Committee on 11th March 2020 and approved unanimously.