The inspector found the main issue to be whether the proposal comprised sustainable development. His analysis focused on the risk of noise affecting future residents and the expansion of an adjoining manufacturing business, the area’s largest employer with 1,000 staff and a £100 million turnover.
On the first issue, he considered that the majority of noise from the factory, which worked round the clock, would mainly arise from machinery noise from its roofs, so mitigation through measures such as acoustic fencing would be unachievable. He considered it unacceptable that gardens at some of the new homes would be subject to industrial noise of more than 45 decibels throughout the summer.
The inspector also considered the economic impact of the proposal on the adjoining business, which planned to expand. He recognised that the proposed homes would inevitably result in unreasonable noise restrictions for the business, ultimately affecting its economic output contrary to paragraph 123 of the NPPF. He concluded that the proposal did not constitute sustainable development in environmental terms.
Inspector: Ian Radcliffe; Hearing