Sunday, 09 December 2018

Developer appeal fails

Emmer Green homes plan turned down

PLANS to build 245 homes on farmland north of Emmer Green have been refused following an appeal.

Gladman Homes wanted to build on three fields between Peppard Road and Kiln Road but was refused permission by South Oxfordshire District Council.

The company appealed and a planning inquiry was held in September.

Its counsel John Barrett argued that the development should be allowed to go ahead because the council had not secured enough land to meet the demand for new housing.

But now inspector Nick Palmer has dismissed the appeal, saying the council had in fact exceeded build targets for the past three years and the proposal would undermine its strategy for “sustainable development”. He also believed that the development would be “intrusive” as it would be seen from several public footpaths..     

Mr Palmer said: “It is clear to me that the development would have very significant effects from a number of public viewpoints.

“Furthermore, the development would be prominent when seen from Peppard Road given its proximity the road and its higher level in relation to part of that road.

“Provision would be made for green space and landscaping within the development which could soften its appearance but nonetheless it is likely that the development would be particularly intrusive when seen from that route. The site undoubtedly forms part of an attractive landscape which is enjoyed by users of the footpaths in the area. Because of the varied topography the development would be prominent and intrusive in that landscape.

“While the proposal would include green spaces and landscaping measures, its overall scale would be such that those measures would have limited effect in integrating the development into the landscape. The development would erode the open setting of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and would be harmful in this respect. For these reasons I conclude that the proposal would unacceptably harm the character and appearance of the area.”

The inspector did find that there were benefits to the proposed scheme, saying here was a “significant” shortage of affordable housing in the area.

Mr Palmer also thought the development would benefit the local economy.

However, he concluded: “The proposal would undermine that strategy and for this reason I give substantial weight to that harm. I give further substantial weight to the harm to the character and appearance of the area because of the value of the site landscape, including its location within the setting of the AONB and the visual effect of the development within that landscape.”

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