Appeal win and award of costs against Cotswold District Council for new homes in Poulton
HPP have obtained outline planning permission at appeal together with an award for costs for 9 dwellings at Bell Lane, Poulton.
The application was refused by Cotswold District Council on one ground; that the existing foul drainage problems experienced in Poulton would be exacerbated by the proposal which would, in turn, lead to an increased risk of flooding elsewhere thus conflicting with local policy and the National Planning Policy Framework.
The site falls within Flood zone 1 and the Inspector found that the proposal would not materially exacerbate existing foul drainage problems thereby leading to an increased risk of flooding elsewhere. No objections were raised by Thames Water or by the professional officers within the Council. Other issues explored by the Inspector were matters relating to highway safety, character and appearance of the area and residential amenity. With reference to highway safety, the Inspector agreed with HPP that the proposal would cause no harm as Bell Lane was subject to light traffic flows and capable of accommodating the additional traffic associated with the development.The Inspector found that the proposal would have only limited harm upon the character and appearance of the area; the site was excluded from the AONB or any other landscape designations and fell within the general confines of the village. The proposed landscaping would ensure any impact upon the landscape would be limited. In terms of residential amenity, the Inspector agreed that it would be possible to design a scheme which would cause no harm to the level of amenities currently enjoyed by the residents of the surrounding properties.
In concluding, the Inspector agreed with HPP’s findings that the adverse impacts associated with the scheme would not significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits when assessed against the advice contained within the Framework as a whole.
Costs were awarded by the Planning Inspectorate on the grounds that the Council’s refusal reason was not supported by Thames Water or the professional officers, and as such, the Council was unable to justify its reason for refusal based on foul drainage and flood risk.