Loss of houses for access unjustified

The demolition of two houses to allow for a new access to open up safeguarded land for future development in Shropshire was refused for harm arising from the loss of the two dwellings to the existing housing stock.

The demolition of the pair of semi-detached dwellings would facilitate the formation of a vehicular access to a large field located between the housing estate and a motorway. The field was designated as safeguarded land in the council’s adopted local plan to meet development needs beyond the current plan period. The inspector considered, however, that there was no certainty that an allocation would take place on the land when the plan was updated. And, as the proposal was separate from any proposal for new homes to weigh against, he held the consequence of allowing the appeal would be that two perfectly habitable and currently used dwellings would no longer be able to contribute to the housing stock and their loss was therefore unjustified and unacceptable. Equally, he opined the loss of the houses would create a gap in the streetscene which would appear out of character on an estate characterised by frontage development and conflict with adopted local plan policy in that respect as well.

Inspector: Mark Dakeyne; Written representations

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