BCP Council (Poole):  Matt Annen, a director of the firm is pleased to have secured secured planning permission for a pair of semi-detached dwellings on a site in Lower Parkstone which were designed by local firm Dot Architecture.

Our client initially came to us having received a refusal on the site for a pair of semi-detached dwellings. The Council had refused the scheme on grounds of the 2 dwellings on this site constituting over-development and thus being out character with the area and also that the garden areas would be unsatisfactory in size.

We challenged this decision at appeal and whilst the appeal was dismissed, it was only dismissed on grounds of lack of an appropriate contribution towards Heathland mitigation (as our client’s bank refused to sign a S106 and the Inspector did not accept the Council’s adopted S111 approach to delivering contributions). The Inspector disagreed with the Council’s reasons for refusal concerning over-development and the small garden sizes, stating:

  • I saw that the immediate context of the appeal site also includes a variety of other building types…There is a range of architectural styles and building materials, and a variety of boundary treatments
  • The close surroundings of the appeal site do not have a coherent character or appearance
  • The resultant plots would be smaller than is characteristic of much of the surrounding development. However, this would not be immediately apparent in the street scene
  • The two vehicular accesses would be some distance apart, and at right angles to each from most views it would only be the upper part of the building that would be readily evident in the street scene, and it would still have the appearance of a single dwelling.
  • For these reasons, I conclude that the development would not harm the character and appearance of the area.

In response to the Council’s view that the recreational amenity spaces of each dwelling were found to be unsatisfactory in size, particularly due to their depth, and shading due to the northerly position of the rear gardens, the Inspector concluded:

  • Despite its limited size, it would be a quiet, private area that would provide a satisfactory external space for the occupants of the house
  • The Council has not provided evidence of any locally adopted standards for outdoor amenity space. In the absence of such guidance I find that, whilst the gardens would be smaller than most others in the locality, they would provide for the essential day to day needs of the limited number of occupants in each of the houses. In coming to this view, I am also mindful that the entrance gate to Alexandra Park, is a safe 120 metre walk from the appeal site, so more extensive public outdoor space is readily available to meet the occupants’ requirements.

Off the back of this appeal decision an identical scheme was resubmitted and a S111 Agreement completed by the applicants, which was duly accepted by Council and the application was approved. Whilst the Council probably still didn’t agree with the scheme, because the appeal decision formed a material planning consideration the Council they could not reasonably refuse, much to our client’s delight.

So if you have a site, which has just received a refusal or perhaps has an extensive negative planning history and you are looking for a firm of Chartered Town Planners to give it a look with a fresh set of eyes and one with a never give up attitude why not give Pure Town Planning a call on 01202 585524 or email info@puretownplanning.co.uk and see how we could help.

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