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  • Amanda Stobbs

Ever Decreasing Reasons to Refuse

It is fair to say that this small-scale housing development on the edge of a village has not had an easy passage through planning.

Pre-application advice for the division of the existing Weston House into a pair of semi-detached dwellings with the construction of four dwellings in September 2020 was generally favourable, with no objection in principle or to the design approach.

Notwithstanding, the subsequent planning application was refused by the Planning Committee, against the Planning Officer’s recommendation, in November 2021. The reasons for refusal summarised as: i) a lack of need for housing within the village and the unacceptable burden on the limited village facilities; ii) that the proposed housing mix did not meet a local need; and iii) the harm caused to Weston House (a Non-Designated Heritage Asset) arising from the demolition of the attached garage.

Disappointingly, the appeal that followed was dismissed in June 2022. However, the Inspector concluded that development was acceptable in principle, having agreed with the evidence presented that the approximate figures stated within the Council’s policies were not a maximum target and that the application site is within a sustainable location. Furthermore, the Inspector agreed that Weston House was of limited heritage significance and as such is not a Non-Designated Heritage Asset and that in any event the demolition of the garage would not harm the character or appearance of the property. Unfortunately, the Inspector raised concerns over the housing mix and the appeal was dismissed.

Whilst frustrating, the outcome of the appeal was that two of the three reasons for refusal had been addressed. A revised scheme was submitted in September 2022 and despite the reiteration of local objections and committee debate, including on the resolved matters of principle and heritage, these reasons for refusals could not be substantiated in light of the appeal findings and having addressed the housing mix, the planning application was approved at Planning Committee in February 2023.

The scheme was put forward on behalf of our client, Grevayne Properties Limited, with architectural services provided by Swan Architects, with all planning support provided by Tyler Parkes.


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