The proposals involved between 115 and 246 residential units and 5,600m2 to 7,400m2 of office floor space. The site lay in an area identified for major redevelopment, an intention supported in the inspector's report on the council's local development framework core strategy. However, neither appeal proposal encompassed all the identified land. The inspector saw this as a significant failing because it risked jeopardising a planned approach, possibly involving compulsory purchase.
While recognising that either scheme would deliver much-needed housing and lead to environmental enhancement of the site, he held that broad planning objectives must be given priority. The core strategy proposals were of significance to the town centre's future and allowing the appeals would be premature and harm the orderly planning of the wider area, he concluded.
DCS Number 100-650-475
Inspector John Papworth; Hearing.