Councils refusing Planning Applications in rural areas often sight sustainability as their main reason. This case was no exception. These clients came to Planning Direct after their application for two new dwellings on land near Ardleigh was refused by Tendring District Council.
In summary, the council refused the application for the following reasons
The site was not considered to be in a sustainable location. It is outside of a town centre and is nearly two miles outside Ardleigh. In Tendring’s emerging Local Plan the appeal site is classed as a ‘Rural Settlement’. The case officer was concerned about a lack of amenities nearby as Ardleigh has no village centre, employment facilities or a train station.
There is a lack of footpaths and street lighting towards Colchester. As such, the council argued that walking and cycling was not a viable option. Future occupants would rely on a private motor vehicle and hence, it would not be sustainable.
The team at Planning Direct always approaches the appeals process in the same way; with a period of extensive research. This is something we pride ourselves on. It was clear from the start that the Council had not done their research. They had failed to mention that there are some shops, local businesses and a pub just half a mile away. The site is also located just 0.9 miles from the settlement of Colchester, which benefits from a wide range of amenities. The council dismissed this as an option due to the lack of footpaths, however, we demonstrated through Google Earth images that there is a footpath for the whole length of the route. Furthermore, the appeal site is just 0.3 miles from a large business centre that offers opportunities for employment. Although the business site isn’t part of Tendring, the site is an allocation in Colchester Borough Council’s Local Plan. Considering the appeal site is closer to Colchester than Ardleigh this should have been taken into consideration by Tendring Council.
The Planning Consultant also pointed out that Colchester’s adopted Core Strategy has specifically identified a substantial Growth Area to the north of the town. This is approximately a 10-minute drive or 15- minute cycle from the appeal site. Significant expansion of existing health care facilities, education facilities, employment facilities, housing and transport infrastructure will be provided over the plan period in this location. The appeal site is considered to be well-located to reap the benefits of this planned development.
On examining the Council’s Five Year Housing Land Supply, Planning Direct concluded that the council did not have their supply as they claimed. We produced a detailed Five Year Housing Land Supply Statement and through our calculations we found that their figure was closer to 3 years than the 5 years required.
The Planning Consultant also pointed out that the council were relying on out of date policies that no longer held much weight. This is something which we encounter with alarming frequency.
The Council argued that development would harm the character of the area. Granted, to the west and northwest of the site there is agricultural land. This land, however, is separated by a distinct buffer of roads and residential development. Furthermore, the eastern side of the site adjoins the busy A12 road. Planning Direct argued, successfully, that this should be classed as infill development and would not harm the openness of the countryside.
We also made use of one of our best research assets, Compass, where we are able to access past appeal decisions. We used our findings from these decisions to support our arguments in our appeal statement.
Subsequently, with all the information we provided we were able to quash the council’s decision. Our clients walked away extremely happy, with the permission they required to build two new dwellings on their land.
Contact us today on 01473 407911 or at email@example.com to find out more about our appeal service. We are happy to provide examples of our work on request.