Taylor Wimpey who emerged as the party interested in developing the land in February 2014 faced immense resistance from the local community and Councillors. The consultation resulted in 224 written letters of objection to the case officer, and just 1 letter in support.
Large planning applications usually go to the planning committee, but the White Dirt Farm application would have been so damaging to the landscape that it did not merit a hearing with refusal being a clear decision for the planners who were able to refuse it under delegated powers.
Cllr Sara Schillemore whose ward the application is in said “I am very pleased with the delegated decision for refusal. In refusing this application EHDC have taken into account the many objective and relevant comments from members of the public and worked closely with both of the District Councillors whose Wards would be affected by this proposal.
This site is important gap land to separate Catherington, Clanfield and Horndean and because of the slope any development would be very apparent and bridge the gap. The Landscape importance of the site is also extremely important and building on it would totally destroy the semi rural setting the community has.
Now that the Down Farm application in Clanfield has been heard by the Planning Committee and the approval for 207 dwellings has been given, the five year plan necessary to resist unwanted applications in unsupported locations, has been achieved.
I sincerely hope that Taylor, Wimpey can clearly see that an Appeal would be a waste of time and money.”
To read a bit more in this WDF Special newsletter click on this link here: Downs Newsletter December 2014 WDF Special
To see the decision notice click on this link here: WDF Decision Notice
For my part, I am extremely grateful to the community for their support in writing to the case officer to raise their concerns, and also to the planning team for patiently working through the application while receiving a constant barrage of emails from the community, and fellow Councillors. Without the clear community view and involvement we might be looking at a different outcome.
There will most likely be an appeal by Taylor Wimpey and we will deal with that in due course, but in the meantime please have a very pleasant New Year.