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.
Town and Country Planning Act 1990
03 Mar 2016
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