In 2015 Southcott Homes applied for permission to build on ‘Land to the rear of 191 – 211 Lovedean Lane’ which was refused by EHDC and subsequently also refused on appeal. At that time EHDC did not have a confirmed Local Plan including an Allocation Plan proposing where new major development would be best placed and we were vulnerable to speculative development. By rushing through some local consultations we were able to demonstrate support for LEOH and also protect a number of other sites from development including White Dirt Farm, Chalk Hill Road, Blendworth Fabrics and more.
Southcott Homes have applied again for permission to develop on the same land and everyone who has previously objected should also have received notification of this. the new application number is 55406/002 and this is for 33 dwellings, vehicular and pedestrian access, parking, secure cycle storage and servicing, creation of new public open space, landscape and ecology management, access only to be considered.
Click here for the EHDC Application Link where you can also leave comments for the planning officer to consider. this needs to be done by the 14th February 2017.
Today the position is very different. Horndean was the first area to consult with the public about where new development should take place. Visitors to the exhibition were very clear that any new proposed development should take place on Hazleton and Pyle Farms at an area now known as Land East of Horndean. East Hampshire has a robust Five Year Plan which has been checked by Government Inspectors and judged to be ‘Sound’ by either the Liverpool or Sedgfield Method.
This application is outside the Settlement Policy Boundary and therefore by definition in the countryside. This site is not an Allocated Site in the Local Plan for Horndean which runs until 2028 neither is it a windfall site which are sites which sometimes come forward as unforeseen circumstances arise. These sites are assessed against planning policies at the time.
Horndean Parish Council heard this Application at their meeting on Thursday 2nd February and Cllr Elaine Tickell tabled her report, some of which is reproduced below and may help with comments to the case officer.
Observations: The last application for development on this site was refused on appeal because the Inspector found that the proposed development would be significantly detrimental to the living conditions of adjacent occupiers on Lovedean Lane in respect of privacy. Therefore, in terms of the three dimensions of sustainable development set out at paragraph 7 of the NPPF, the appeal scheme would have resulted in an unavoidable conflict with the Environmental role. The Inspector considered the benefits of the scheme including matters such as market and affordable housing, financial receipts and construction jobs were overall not sufficient to outweigh the harm found by the Inspector. The Inspector found that the proposed development would not constitute the sustainable development for which there is a presumption in favour in the NPPF and so the Appeal was dismissed.
In making an outline application with consideration only of the access, the Applicant is seeking to override the Inspector’s decision as the privacy matters identified by the Appeal would only fall to be determined at a later date. They should form part of the outline application.
The Applicant makes reference throughout the Planning Statements about the sustainability of the site and seeks to make that the only ground for consideration. The Inspector also refers to it being a sustainable site “in principle” for housing. The issue is in fact about sustainable development and that necessarily means a consideration of the three limbs of sustainable development. A judgement has just been handed down that deals with this point- see recommendation below.
The changes form the last application that was refused are that Applicant has created a landscape buffer behind the affected houses in Lovedean Lane and recited the proposed new houses at the rear so that they lie perpendicular to the existing houses. The basic problems ref the geography of the site remain. The design detail should form part of the application. The street scene submitted with the application confirms the extent of the privacy problem. Councillors should look at this.
Size layout and density: A large, densely massed development of 33 houses and associated infrastructure.
Street Scene: This completely and adversely changes the character of the area.
Local Planning Policies: CP27- Pollution. This seeks to protect the amenities of neighbouring occupiers from the unacceptable effects of development, including loss of privacy. It would also conflict with one of the core planning principles set out at paragraph 17 of the NPPF to secure a good standard of amenity for all existing and future occupiers of land and buildings.
Overall highway safety: The access would be from New Road which is often difficult to negotiate as a result of parking from adjacent roads. New Road in turn exits onto Lovedean Lane close to a blind bend on a stretch of road adversely affected by speeding.
Noise and disturbance from completed development: That associated with a 33 home development.
Parking: This would be dealt with on site but there is no detail yet as it is an outline application.
Overlooking and loss of Privacy: This is the crux of the application. The geography of the site rising as it does would result in significant overlooking of the existing houses in Lovedean Lane with the resultant loss of privacy contrary to CP27- Pollution.
Traffic generation: That from a 33 home development
Ground contamination: Experts reports would need to be seen
RECOMMENDATION: Objection for the following reasons:-
The proposed development is inconsistent with the Local Plan. The presumption in favour of the grant of planning approval contained in paragraph 14 of the NPPF is rebutted. In weighing the benefits of the proposed development, they are outweighed by the harm caused by the same. Based on the factual situation, there is no discretion to nonetheless hold that the proposed development constitutes sustainable development as contended by the Applicant- see East Staffordshire Borough Council and The Secretary of State for Communities for Local Government v Barwood Strategic Land II LLP 2016 EWHC 2973 (Admin) , Case number CO/2856/2016.
1. East Hampshire has a five year land supply. The Local Plan is up to date.
2. This is not an allocated site. The 700 homes allocated to Horndean for the period to 2028 can be built on two sites, one of those being a full permission on the site to the south and the other being an outline permission for just under 700 homes on the Land east of Horndean at Hazleton on the south side of Horndean.
3. The proposed development would be significantly detrimental to the living conditions of adjacent occupiers on Lovedean Lane in respect of privacy. Therefore, in terms of the three dimensions of sustainable development set out at paragraph 7 of the NPPF, the proposed development will result in an unavoidable conflict with the Environmental role. The benefits of the scheme including matters such as market and affordable housing, financial receipts and construction jobs are overall not sufficient to outweigh the harm caused by the significant overlooking and loss of privacy for the existing housing in Lovedean Lane. Accordingly, the proposed development would not constitute the sustainable development for which there is a presumption in favour in the NPPF.
The above paragraph 3 reflects the Inspector’s decision in refusing the Appeal against an earlier refusal of planning permission under application number 55406/001. In making an outline application with consideration only of the access, the Applicant is seeking to override the Inspector’s decision as the privacy matters identified by the Appeal would only fall to be determined at a later date. They should form part of the outline application.
4. The development is in breach of the following specific policies in the NPPF:-
4.1. Paragraph 16 in that it does not have the support of the local community.
4.2. Paragraph 17 in that it is being imposed on the local community and excluding their right to shape their surroundings. It does not take account of the roles and character of the different areas within Horndean and does not recognise the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside.
4.3. Paragraph 109 as the application does not contribute to nor enhance the natural and local environment by protecting and enhancing a valued landscape.
5. The proposed development breaches the following policies in the JCS :-
5.1. CP2- Spacial Strategy. Lovedean is a level 4 settlement. Development should be limited and on a small scale and be consistent with maintaining and enhancing the character of the village. The Village Design Statement advocates adherence to the linear development along Lovedean Lane with no backfield development.
5.2. . CP 19 – Countryside. The application site is outside the SPB and thus covered by the Countryside policies. It cannot be demonstrated that this development in this location is both necessary and justified. The housing required to be built by Horndean in the current plan period plus infrastructure and community facilities can be built on a large site at Hazleton/ Pyle Farm where the housing need of 700 homes allocated to Horndean for the period to 2028 can be accommodated. The adjacent site has planning permission for 40 house but the permission was obtained at a time when the 5 year land supply was not in place and the new NPPF had resulted in a state of flux in the planning system. It is neither effective nor appropriate development under the NPPF and the JCS for sites such as this to be developed.
5.3. CP 20. Landscape. This development does not protect nor enhance the settlement in the wider landscape but dominates the village. The application site is land at the urban edge that should be protected. It would be adversely viewed from the SDNP.
5.4. CP 29. Design. The development does not appreciate nor is it sympathetic to its setting in terms of its scale, height, massing, identity and relationship to the village to the east and the rural landscape features to the west. The layout and design does not contribute to local distinctiveness or sense of place with the indicative plans showing some houses being very dominant – over two storeys in height- and the roofs of some houses being large and solid grey.
6. There is a lack of infrastructure in Lovedean that would be exacerbated by the development and not mitigated by onsite infrastructure provision nor CIL contributions that will be paid by the Applicant.
7. Both this application and the previous application do not have definitive drainage proposals that would not only adequately deal with drainage on site bearing in mind the high water table but also not exacerbate flooding in the village.
8. The damage to the countryside is irreversible and irreplaceable and potentially an unwelcome precedent for development in the countryside in breach of policy.
9. Highway considerations. Access is via New Road which is a narrow road already under pressure from parking from the nearby industrial estate. The junction at Lovedean Lane is within 30-40 metres of a blind rise. It is understood that the traffic survey was carried out in the 1/2 term holiday and with passage of time, is now out of date bearing in mind the volume of housing being built in Clanfield.
This was supported by all members present at the meeting.