Mitigation condition held contrary to regulations

A planning condition intended to ensure mitigation of adverse impacts on protected habitats arising from a proposal for a bungalow in a village on the Hampshire coast has been ruled out by an inspector.

The site lay in a large village near the New Forest National Park. The inspector agreed that adverse effects arising from increased recreational pressure on SPAs, SACs, and Ramsar sites could not be ruled out. The council sought to secure a funding contribution towards mitigation through a negatively worded condition and a post-approval section 106 agreement, in order to sidestep the pooling restrictions in the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Regulations.

In the inspector’s opinion, the condition served to require the appellant to enter into a planning obligation, which would be at odds with Planning Practice Guidance, and anticipated contributions towards relevant infrastructure, which would conflict with the CIL regulations. The council pointed out that that the appellant had agreed to accept the condition and that similar conditions had been supported by other inspectors. The inspector found the reasoning in the other cases cited sufficiently detailed to justify departures from national guidance.

The inspector found no harm in respect of the bungalow’s impact on the area’s character and appearance or on living conditions. Although a proposal for a two-storey house on the site had recently been dismissed on appeal, he was satisfied that the reduced scale, design and detailing of the bungalow would be in keeping with the area and occupants’  privacy would be secured by boundary planting.

Inspector: Benjamin Webb; Written representations

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