Apartments dismissed on allocated brownfield site

Amenity, safety and planning policy concerns have led to dismissal of outline plans for 14 apartments in the Black Country, even though the site was allocated for housing in the adopted local plan.

The vacant employment site was allocated in an adopted sites allocation plan but was affected by policies requiring the phased release of former employment land to be managed carefully to avoid unnecessary blight of surrounding employment uses and harm to new residents’ amenity. The inspector felt that the proposed apartment block would result in piecemeal development of the land and noise and disturbance for future occupiers from existing heavy industrial uses around the site, leading to complaints against those businesses.

The proposal was not supported by any noise assessment and the inspector said this could not be required at reserved matters stage because of the site’s proximity to specific sources of noise. Triple glazing and dual aspect living areas would not alleviate his concerns, he made clear.

In addition, the site was close to a major gas pipeline and the Health and Safety Executive had objected to the appeal proposal. The inspector felt that even if the scheme had been acceptable in all other respects, this aspect would need further exploration. He concluded that the drawbacks of the proposal outweighed any benefits from the new housing, regardless of the housing land supply situation.

Inspector: Graham Wyatt; Written representations

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