Housing distributor road found premature to supplementary guidance

A distributor road and associated works for a new residential development were refused in outline in Falkirk as premature and detrimental to the character and setting of a designed landscape and amenity interests, in conflict with local development plan policies.

The proposed road would access one of  many housing developments set out in adopted supplementary planning guidance, which advised that access to all the sites covered in the guidance should be brought forward in a co-ordinated manner so as not to prejudice the delivery of individual sites. But the new road the subject of this proposal was in a different location from that proposed in the SPG and would pass closer to a listed category B building and its walled garden.

The reporter considered that an important aspect of the setting of the listed building was the relationship between it and the walled garden, but the proposed distributor road would sever this. This would result in the loss of trees and opening of views of the road and its traffic from the listed building and its walled garden, with an adverse effect on the setting of both. In reaching this conclusion he gave little weight to the appellant's argument that the trees in the designed landscape might not have been contemporaneous with its original laying out.

The reporter also considered there would be a loss of a significant area, some 20 per cent, of a classified long established woodland and ecological interests including ground flora, soil properties and seed bank, not easily compensated for by new and replacement planting.

Finally, the reporter found the proposed road to be premature, noting that no detailed alternative routes were assessed and compared to demonstrate why the proposed option should be supported in conflict with that set out in an adopted SPG, a policy document which he afforded significant weight.

Reporter: Martin Seddon; Written representations

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