Reporter rejects overdevelopment claim

A reporter stated his intention to grant planning permission for 92 houses on farmland allocated for residential development outside a town in southeast Scotland, following completion of a planning obligation securing contributions to affordable housing and infrastructure.

The principle of the development had been established through the a strategic allocation in the development plan and was not at issue. The council had, however, refused permission because it considered the scheme to be an over-development of the site, with too many houses and too little green space poorly distributed throughout the site.

As the overall quantity of greenspace comfortably exceeded SPG requirements and a concentration at one end of the site corresponded with a constraint imposed by overhead power lines, as well as helping to prevent settlement coalescence and providing good links with a country park, the reporter did not agree with the council’s objection in this respect.  The reporter acknowledged that plot sizes would be small relative to established older housing in the area and garden sizes fell below council guidelines, but pointed out that the difference in density was less when the open space was taken into account. In his opinion, the scheme did not fail to reflect the character of this part of the town and was not an overdevelopment.

Finding vehicular access arrangements appropriate and effects on the capacity of schools and on local road network capable of being addressed through developer contributions, the reporter concluded there were no material considerations which justified withholding planning permission, subject to completion of a relevant planning obligation.

Reporter: David Liddell; Written representations

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