Reserved matters fail to respect sylvan character of locality

Reserved matters approval for 52 dwellings in Surrey was rejected after an inspector concluded that it would fail to respect the sylvan character of the area.

Outline planning permission had been secured at appeal. The developer planned to emulate the character of the road by siting houses back from the highway and inserting clipped hedges and small trees replicatating those opposite. A block of flats would be located within the site adjacent to an area of green belt.

In reviewing the design principles the inspector determined that the spacious and sylvan quality of existing houses would not be replicated in part by the planned siting of garages to the rear of the plots which would increase the built form when viewed from the road. One of the plots would also be sited close to the pavement edge which would also erode the spacious quality of the immediate area. Another plot would face directly onto the planned access road, with landscaping unable to soften the harsh appearance, he concluded. Other aspects were also unacceptable including the inclusion of a large unrelieved area of parking and manoeuvring space such that overall the proposal would not maintain the character and appearance of the locality.

In relation to the planned amenity space for occupiers of the flats the inspector determined that it would be dominated by a line of beech trees and the building itself. The land sloped and noise from a road would add to its unsuitable quality and use. This added to his conclusion that the layout was inadequate and unacceptable.

Inspector: Paul Freer; Hearing


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