Site allocation fails to enable housing scheme progession

A scheme involving 74 extra care apartments and 64 dwellings on a site allocated for housing development in Shropshire was judged to give rise to unacceptable highway and heritage impacts.

The council’s policies required development of the land to provide for long-term comprehensive development and facilitate a through road. The appellant accepted that it had not been possible to reach agreement with an adjoining developer and therefore the plans indicated a highway up to the site boundary. An inspector decided that this did not guarantee that a through road would be provided and the degree of connectivity, including for pedestrians and cyclists, was likely to be low.

A primary school utilised the proposed access into the site and it was clear from representations by local residents that there were particular parking and movement issues during school opening and closing. While the appellant claimed that the majority of car trips associated with the proposal would have occurred before 8am, the inspector noted that the school operated a breakfast club which began from 8am. The existing highway situation was problematic with cars often parking on the pavements and despite no objection from the highway authority, the addition of more traffic using the same access road, albeit with some improvements, was unsatisfactory.

Equally, the plans included apartments close to a grade II listed railway station and footbridge. The immediate area had buildings of a domestic scale, the inspector determined, and the apartment block would appear incongruous. It would not represent good design. Landscaping would not mitigate the impact and the totality of the harm outweighed the public benefits.

Inspector: Bryn Bowker; Hearing

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