The council had previously resolved to grant permission for 40 dwellings on the site but did not consider that the higher number proposed could be accommodated without compromising living conditions and open space provision. The inspector identified a number of layout constraints, including a need for a fairly substantial landscape buffer to mitigate noise from an adjacent trunk road, a fixed access point, public open space requirements and sustainable surface water drainage measures.
In her view, the appellant’s illustrative masterplan fell short of achieving a well-designed place that would address these parameters. The site could not accommodate 55 homes as well as the level of usable public open space required by council supplementary planning guidance, she decided. She rejected the notion of locating the majority of the open space next to an existing public open space outside the appeal site. Neither was she sure that 55 homes could be accommodated without a significant number being close enough to the trunk road to need closed windows and an alternative method of ventilation to effectively mitigate road noise.
Inspector: Zoe Raygen; Hearing