Land off Sopwith Way, Swanwick
After submitting two outline planning applications for the site, for 46 and 42 dwellings, both of which were refused planning permission, a planning appeal was prosecuted.
The planning appeal was dealt with by a hearing and the Inspector considered there to be several issues.
The Inspector opined that the development would be remote from services and facilities and the urban settlement boundaries of the closest settlements. He also considered that the development would harm the character and appearance of the surrounding area. The proposed development would not result in unacceptable traffic implications or adversely affect the safety and operation of the local road network, the Inspector remarked. As an Appropriate Assessment had not been completed, the Inspector could not confirm that the financial contributions to be secured within the s.106 unilateral undertaking would provide adequate mitigation of any effects of the development on the SPAs. The appeal was therefore dismissed.
Despite the disappointing outcome of the planning appeal, this proved to be an interesting test case, especially in relation to how sites would be considered where they do not adjoin existing settlement boundaries. The Council’s lack of 5-year housing land supply was not determinative in this case.