Needed allocated housing site held up by flooding and access concerns

Redevelopment for 133 dwellings on grassland adjoining a village in Denbighshire was dismissed as unacceptable in highway safety terms, insufficient emergency access and flooding concerns, despite the principle of development at the established through a local plan allocation and recent site development brief and a shortfall of housing land in the area.

The 4.8-hectare site comprised allocated housing land inside the adopted plan development boundary, so the inspector held the principle of housing was established. However, she was concerned with the submitted details regarding emergency access and flooding.

Given the size and nature of the development an alternative access was required into the site for use in emergencies. However, the gradient of the proposed emergency access, at around 10 per cent, was too steep, which she found unsatisfactory and contrary to Planning Policy Wales.

The inspector also held that on the evidence before her and taking the precautionary approach required by TAN 15: Development and Flood Risk, she needed a more thorough understanding of the groundwater regime and any associated risk, together with further consideration of the surface water drainage and the size and design of the attenuation ponds proposed, to ensure the run-off from the development would not lead to flooding downstream. As both her concerns regarding emergency access and flooding could affect site layout, she felt the issues could not be overcome by condition and dismissed the appeal.

Inspector: Kay Sheffield; Hearing

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