Inspector takes different view on overlooking

An inspector dismissed an appeal for seven chalet bungalows on a backland site in Surrey following redetermination after the high court quashed a previous appeal decision.

The site comprised back garden land of a row of properties, with access afforded by demolition of another dwelling. On the main issue of impact on area character and appearance, the inspector found the chalet style bungalows and site layout to be in keeping with the prevailing character of the suburban surroundings. This conclusion accorded with the assessment made by the inspector in the quashed decision. However, he reached a different conclusion in respect of living conditions. The previous inspector considered an increase in overlooking would be unlikely as the appeal site was used as a garden but, in redetermining the appeal, the inspector found some of the first floor windows within the new development would be uncomfortably close to existing homes and their gardens and result in materially significant levels of overlooking over and above the existing use of the site as private amenity land.

In the final balance, the inspector decided that because of the overlooking issue the scheme would not provide a well-designed place. This finding and the absence of legally secured mitigation of adverse effects on a SPA outweighed the benefit of a boost to housing in the context of national policy, and he dismissed the appeal.

Inspector: Neil Holdsworth; Written representations

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