Development Control Casebook: Housing: New Build - Flats scheme fails local strategy test

The demolition of a house in Dorset to make way for eight apartments has been dismissed despite the appellant's claim that it would deliver homes suitable for family use.

The council's core strategy sought to direct flats to central locations served well by public transport. The appellant sought to distinguish small, high-density apartments from the proposal, which included three-storey duplexes and large flats on a single floor. On that basis, he argued that there was no conflict with local planning strategy.

The inspector considered that the eight properties were flats because they were mostly divided horizontally and shared a vehicular access, underground parking, a lift, common passages and a garden. The adoption of arbitrary definitions of what is meant by a flat would nullify this part of the council's core strategy, she remarked.

Since the appeal site was very large, she considered it fairly meaningless to include all of it in examining scheme density. The area had a strong and distinctive character comprising large houses set in mature grounds and the scheme would create an insensitive overdevelopment that would undermine this, she concluded.

DCS Number 100-069-755

Inspector Gyll Grindey; Hearing

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