Planning inspector rejects 420-home planning appeal on carbon and landscape grounds

Plans for 420 homes in Herefordshire have been dismissed by a planning inspector because the development did not align with the shift towards a low-carbon economy and would harm the visual landscape.

Last Friday, the planning inspector, on behalf of the secretary of state, rejected an appeal by developers Ian and Kathleen Griffiths and Gladman Developments to build on a 23.5-hectare site in Ledbury, west of the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). 

The developers hoped to overturn Herefordshire Council’s planning refusal, arguing that the local authority was unable to demonstrate a five-year housing supply – a national planning policy that requires councils to have enough sites ready for development to meet their housing needs for the next five years.

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Town and Country Planning Act 1990

In force/
Current
Legislation
England, Wales
Published
03 Mar 2016

Commentary

07/07/2015 Amending Act (Planning (Wales) Act 2015) published., 27/10/2015 Amending Order (WSI 2015/1794) published., 22/02/2016 Amending Regulations (WSI 2016/53) published, in relation to Wales only., 27/04/2017 Amending Act (Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017) published.
02/11/2017 Amending Regulations (SI 2017/1012) published., 28/11/2018 Amending Regulations (SI 2018/1232) published.

Compliance Dates

24/05/1990 Received Royal Assent

Characteristics

Subject

Land and development

Source

OPSI (Office of Public Sector Information)

Affected Sectors

Mining and Quarrying Construction
ECM

Town and Country Planning Act 1990

Document Status: In force/Current

Scope: England, Wales

Commentary:

07/07/2015 Amending Act (Planning (Wales) Act 2015) published., 27/10/2015 Amending Order (WSI 2015/1794) published., 22/02/2016 Amending Regulations (WSI 2016/53) published, in relation to Wales only., 27/04/2017 Amending Act (Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017) published.
02/11/2017 Amending Regulations (SI 2017/1012) published., 28/11/2018 Amending Regulations (SI 2018/1232) published.

Compliance:

24/05/1990 Received Royal Assent

But the inspector said the site’s isolated location and lack of access to facilities and public transport would be “contrary to the environmental role of planning in moving to a low carbon economy” in terms of “limiting the need to travel and offering a genuine choice of transport modes”. 

The inspector also argued that the development would be “harmful to the character and appearance of the area, including the landscape setting of the settlement and the setting of the Malvern Hills AONB, through its large scale encroachment into the open countryside and loss of features characteristic of the local area”.

Meanwhile, Herefordshire Council is struggling to process planning applications for up to 1,000 homes, due to updated legal advice from wildlife regulator Natural England. 

Natural England has told the council it cannot support any planning applications affecting the River Lugg – a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and part of the River Wye Special Area of Conservation (SAC) –  unless there was certainty that the level of phosphates in the river could be brought down.

To view the planning inspector’s decision in full visit the planning appeals portal here. Planning Appeal Ref: APP/W1850/W/19/3225309 

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