The inspector noted at the outset that the previous appeal decision was subject to a commencement condition which had not been implemented and it therefore did not represent a fallback position in this case. However, she accepted the principle of residential development was acceptable given the adopted local plan allocation for 51 houses. The predominant issue related to the design and layout of the proposed 54 houses in relation to the character of the area.
The inspector considered the prevailing character at this location at the gateway to the settlement was of residential dwellings which faced onto the road. Although the scheme was of only three dwellings more than the allocation, the majority of the dwellings aligning the highways did not front onto the road but were inward facing and in this respect would not play any part in the street scene in terms of public realm or creating a sense of place and would detract from the character and apearance of what the inspector considered was a prominent location. Whilst the inspector felt the site could accommodate the increase in numbers given its size, she felt the design and layout of the scheme was inappropriate as it failed to have regard to the character and appearance of the surrounding area and did not allow for natural surveillance of an integrated landscape area in conflict with adopted local plan policy which required development to achieve a high standard of design through a consideration of site context.
Inspector: Rachael Bust; Written representations