Loss of TPO trees would not diminish parkland setting

The redevelopment of a single dwelling in a parkland setting for four new dwellings has been approved in Cheshire with no harm to the character and appearance of the area despite extensive loss of trees, some of which were protected.

A previous appeal for six dwellings on the same site had been refused for the discordant bulky appearance of the proposals. The current inspector accepted that whilst the proposed scheme would amount to a change from just over two dwellings per hectare to around nine, inherently changing the character of the site in an area of generally low density, four new homes would appear more in keeping than six and the proposed density was still both relatively and absolutely low. 

The inspector sympathised with local representations that were concerned that a gated form of development could lead to the piecemeal erosion of the local parkland character over time. However, he considered the proposal for four homes was acceptable in local character terms overall because the property had an atypically spacious plot and would not therefore set a precedent. Secondly, despite the loss of 54 trees at the site, only a handful were TPO protected and none of these were of high quality. The inspector opined therefore that, alongside new planting, the proposal would not meaningfully affect the contribution of the appeal site to the natural quality of the surroundings.

The inspector also downplayed the earlier appeal inspector’s concerns about pressure to fell further TPOs at the site from prospective occupiers stating that the distance between the siting of the proposed properties in this scheme and the nearest TPOs was sufficient to reduce any risk and in any event the occupiers of the properties would be likely to choose to live there because of its wooded character, again reducing any risk of pressure to fell further trees.

Inspector: Thomas Bristow: Written representations

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