Last week we received information that suggest a new application will be made on a site to the west of Bunbury Lane. Followers of this site may recall that an attempt was made to put 52 houses on a similar site behind Parkview & Parkside dwellings about six years ago (14/5255N). Here is the new site location that overlaps with the previous application:
The application came in just before the ‘activation’ of the Neighbourhood Plan for Bunbury but was considered at the appeal. A public hearing was held at the instigatin of the developer, against the initial refusal by Cheshire East. However, the HM Inspector dismissed the appeal on grounds related to the character and appearance of the intended site:
…the appeal proposal would significantly detract from the spacious and rural character of the area…
The appeal proposal would therefore be
significantly harmful to the rural character of Bunbury in this respect
(para 26 -Appeal Decision Ref:APP/R0660/W/16/3145772)
The Inspector also considered the sustainability of the site (as she must) and said;
I conclude that the adverse impacts of the developmentproposed do significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the Framework as a whole. As such, the appeal proposal would not represent a form of sustainable development.
(para 43-Appeal Decision: APP/R0660/W/16/3145772)
At the time Cheshire East had no 5 year supply of building land agreed on which to meet its required housing development. That meant that all polices related to housing supply were deemed ‘out-of-date’ and could be disreguarded. Some acknowledgement of these policies is made in the report but the key legal device the Inspector relies on to justify the refusal is paragraphs 17 and 61 of the NPP Framework:
The proposal would also conflict with one of the core planning policies of the Framework which state, among other things, that planning should recognise the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside (paragraph 17) and paragraph 61 which seeks to ensure that planning decisions address the integration of new development into the natural and built environment.
(para 34-Appeal Decision: APP/R0660/W/16/3145772)
Those constraints no longer apply as Cheshire East has an agreed supply of sites and all policies, including the Neighbourhood Plan, are now ‘up-to-date’;.
A copy of the Inspectors report can be found by clicking on the link below.