Scheme detail undermined by design flaw

A detailed proposal for 75 houses in two fields on the edge of an East Sussex town has been dismissed on the grounds that it would fail to produce a high-quality design.

The council had granted outline planning permission for 70 dwellings. It acknowledged a considerable shortfall in housing land supply but claimed that the detailed scheme failed to reflect the site's importance as a gateway into the town because there was a lack of interest and variation in the estate's layout and design.

The inspector was satisfied that the layout would not be unacceptably dense or cramped but agreed with the council that it lacked imagination and interest. While dismissing the detailed proposal, she approved a revised outline application after concluding that the appellants had demonstrated that an appropriately designed scheme could be produced. In her view, increasing the number of dwellings from 70 to 75 would be an acceptable move.

An illustrative layout showed that this number of homes could be accommodated with an acceptable degree of spaciousness while allowing hedgerows, important trees and a pond to be retained, she decided. While elements of the illustrative layout were similar to the detailed proposal, she reasoned that any deficiencies in scale, layout, appearance and landscaping could be dealt with by the council as reserved matters.

DCS Number 100-051-191

Inspector Christine Thorby; Inquiry.

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