Dorset Council (East Dorset area): Matt has recently secured planning permission to sever land to the rear of two dwellings and erect 2 x three bedroom backland bungalows with garages and associated driveway. The scheme was designed by Tip Top Plans for mutual client Balson Homes.

During the planning process despite a number of objections being received from neighbouring residents and the Parish Council, the officer indicated early support for the proposal agreeing with the points set out within our supporting design, access and planning statement, which justified the merits of the proposal in a clear and concise manner, showing to the local planning authority that two additional dwellings in this location would not be out of character or harmful to neighbouring amenity.

Despite this, from submission to determination took nearly 15 months! This was partly due to a change in planning officer but also partly down to the application site being identified by the Dorset Council Strategic Flood Risk Assessment as having a high risk of groundwater emergence, as the groundwater levels were estimated to be between 0.025m – 0.5m below the ground surface. The site did not lie within an area identified as being at risk of surface water flooding, although local knowledge of such flooding had been reported by neighbours. To robustly address this the applicant submitted a Hydrogeological Report providing details of bore hole testing undertaken in March 2024, when groundwater levels were likely to be at their annual highest elevation. Groundwater monitoring was undertaken on three occasions and no groundwater was observed. In light of this site specific evidence, risk of groundwater was judged to be low so it is not necessary to undertake the sequential test.