by simongalton on 17 September, 2012
A Government appointed Inspector has rejected 4 out 5 planning appeals by developers and landowners and upheld the decision taken by Harborough District Council’s Planning Committee to refuse planning permission for a total of 325 houses. The sites where planning permission has been refused are: Coles Nursery – 175 dwellings, East of Station Lane, Scraptoft -2 schemes of 100 and 40 dwellings and South of Uppingham Road, Bushby – 50 dwellings.
Sadly the Inspector allowed one appeal on land to the east of Pulford Drive, Thurnby for up to 128 dwellings by Jelson Ltd. A mixture of Public Inquiries and hearings took place between 9th May and 12th July with the Inspector publishing her decisions on 16th August. Although each appeal was decided separately, the same Inspector heard all 5 appeals which enabled her to understand the wider planning context in Thurnby, Bushby and Scraptoft. In allowing the appeal at Pulford Drive the Inspector appears to have come to the conclusion that this site would have the least impact in landscape terms given the requirement for housing to be built in this area.
Local councillors Simon Galton and Amanda Burrell attended all the appeals and Cllr Galton made statements and submitted evidence calling for all the appeals to be rejected and for the Council to decide where housing should be allowed in consultation with the local community. Simon commented, “Although the Pulford Drive decision is very disappointing the Inspector found in favour of the Council in 4 out 5 appeals in the face of enormous pressure from developers to build in our area. The two parish councils should be congratulated on the role they have played and especially for taking the bold decision to be professionally represented at the appeals.”
What happens now
Hopefully this brings to an end 2 years of uncertainty caused by speculative planning applications in our area. However, the Core Strategy Development Plan requires land to be allocated for around 360 dwellings and if the Jelsons site is deducted this leaves 230 over the next 16 years. It is now unlikely that the Council will consult on sites it proposes to allocate for housing until next year and must take account of the recent appeal decisions. Your local councillors will continue to argue that properly prepared local plans are the best way to decide where housing should be built rather than ad hoc decisions made on appeal. Jelsons must submit a full application showing a detailed layout, house types and open space before development can commence and we are pleased to see the Inspector says they must make a contribution towards improving community facilities in the local area which is something the developer argued they should not have to pay.Leave a comment