The recovered appeal proposal included 600 new homes, a local retail and community centre, open space and sports pitches in a growth area allocated for at least that number of dwellings. The secretary of state gave this policy substantial weight because the site was needed to meet the housing strategy in the adopted plan, which ran to 2026. He agreed with his inspector that proposals to deallocate the site in the emerging plan carried little weight because it was at too early a stage of development, having not even reached examination.
The second main issue related to the scheme’s impact on heritage assets. Nearby scheduled ancient monuments, listed buildings and a conservation area would all be affected to a greater or lesser degree. The secretary of state agreed with his inspector that less than substantial harm would result from the development through loss of agricultural land associated with an ancient monument, impact on listed buildings and interrupted views between functionally related buildings
Nevertheless, he concluded that the scheme’s public benefits outweighed these heritage harms. He cited the substantial social and economic benefits of the new homes in delivering the development plan’s spatial strategy, provision of on-site facilities and enhancements to public transport, walking and cycling routes as well as off-site highway improvements.
Inspector: Roisin Barrett; Inquiry