Why are Fisher German trying to put a large gateway into a field?
This application for Prior Notification has been refused. But this is because the application needs FULL PLANNING PERMISSION.
The field is situated north of Rowton cottage, a listed building. The applicant is Fisher German. The proposal is submitted as a permitted development scheme under Part 6(A) of the GPDO, and the determination is to decide if prior approval is required for the siting and means of construction of the private way onto this field. The application is not for a private way on agricultural land but is for a new vehicular access. The proposed access would be 5m deep and 6.2m wide. The material would be stone and hardcore.
This application for Prior Notification has been refused. But this is because the application needs FULL PLANNING PERMISSION. Why would Fisher German seek this access? We KNOW that they have had discussion with the Parish Council about further developments around Bunbury. The access is wider than that on Hill Close and Oak Garden. The conclusion is obvious. This is very likely the next development site.
The field is of course, right next to the Wulvern/Guinness Partnership site behind the retirement bungalows. A new access road into that site has been agreed and is visible on the above map (just above the word ‘Proposed..’ shown on the map). This is exactly the sort of development that the co-location principle is supposed to make impossible. However, that principle has been undermined in two recent appeal findings.
Firstly the appeal on the Wulvern application established a very limited interpretation of what the BNP (Bunbury Neighbourhood Plan) means when it states
‘New housing developments should be built in geographically separate parts of the village, ‘
The separation may be maintained by a significant distance, geographic features or visual segregation or a combination of these elements
The inspector then concludes that:
‘I am satisfied that this open land (the paddock to the between the Wulvern and Hill Close sites) would provide a significant distance between the two developments. Furthermore, this visual segregation would be reinforced by the retention of the site’s distinct native hedgerows which characterise this part of the settlement fringe.’
The BNP speaks of different parts of the village the inspector reduces this to a field or about 30 m.
In the case of the field next to Oak Gardens the inspector has no truck with the co-location policy. The policy was designed to stop the creation of large estates of new houses by the location of one group of 15 houses next to another ‘New Development’. But the inspector saw the reference date for ‘New Development’ to be synonymous with the start of the BNP (2016) not the start of Local Housing Plan (2010). In other words you had to wait at least 5 years before you could build next to another block of new houses. No, the dates in the BNP are contradictory said the Inspector, so co-location does not apply in this case and only applies to houses built after 2016.
Will the co-location policy hold in this case? It should. But I sense that it is not a ‘popular’ policy with developers and Government. Who else has a similar policy and has it been more successful? Let me know of any cases you come across.