BCP Council (Poole area): Matt Annen is delighted to have secured planning permission for a severance of an existing plot in the Branksome Park Conservation Area for the erection of a new state of the art 4- bed dwelling on a heavily treed site. This innovative house was cleverly designed by Marlow Architects which responded well to the constraints of the site.

We prepared a robust supporting Design, Access, Planning and Heritage Statement which comprehensively put forward the argument that there is no requirement in the legislation that conservation areas should be protected from all development which does not enhance or positively preserve. Whilst the character and appearance of conservation areas should always be given full weight in planning decisions, the objective of preservation can be achieved either by development which makes a positive contribution to an area’s character or appearance, or by development which leaves character and appearance unharmed.

The officer agreed and concluded that the scheme would have a neutral impact on the character of the Conservation Area, stating in his report that “the proposed dwelling would sit comfortably within its surroundings, and while the design is unapologetically modern, this would create an interesting juxtaposition against some of the more traditional designs that would be to the benefit of both”.

A 11th hour objection was received from the Councils tree officer who raised concerns with the potential future loss of the trees. However, much to our surprise the planning officer deemed that given the submitted information (a detailed Tree Report prepared by Gwydion’s Tree Consultancy and a corresponding Daylight Report prepared by HDS Greentech) it was considered reasonable to condition additional protection, works and replacement trees in order to overcome these concerns.

Whilst only a single new dwelling the officer considered that “the benefits provided from the supply of new homes are considered to carry significant weight in the planning balance”. So because the Council are not hitting their 5 year housing land supply target, it appears the fact that this scheme delivered a new house worked in our favour. The application was approved in just under 3 months which is almost unheard of these days with BCP Council’s severe capacity issues.

If you have a large garden (with or without trees) and have always wondered if it had any development potential why not call Pure Town Planning on 01202 585524 or email info@puretownplanning.co.uk to hear our thoughts.