Housing secretary rejects 700-home planning appeal fearing dog walkers would damage protected area

Plans for 700 homes and a primary school in Hampshire have been dismissed over concerns that residents and their pets could negatively impact breeding bird species in a protected area.

The secretary of state for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), Robert Jenrick, dismissed the appeal earlier this week, in line with recommendations from the planning inspector.

The 59-hectare development, north west of Fleet, was initially rejected by Hart District Council last year, but Wates Developments Ltd appealed. The appeal was subsequently recovered by MHCLG under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

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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

The planning inspector opened a consultation in January to help draw up a report for the housing secretary who agreed that the development could negatively impact the Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Area (SPA), home to breeding bird populations of Dartford warbler, nightjar and wood lark. 

Jenrick was concerned that increased recreational pressure from additional residents and their pets, “dogs in particular”, would have a detrimental impact on the protected birds. 

The secretary of state also agreed with the planning inspector that the proposed development went against Hart District Council’s emerging local plan. He said the proposal went against “the plan-making process [which] has decided is inappropriate for the district”.

Wates Developments has six weeks to decide whether or not it will challenge the secretary of state’s decision in the High Court. 

To see the housing secretary’s decision in full click here. To see the original planning application click here. Planning ref: 16/03129/OUT 

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