JB Planning Associates were appointed to lodge an appeal against Swale Borough Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for the construction of a new dwellinghouse on the Isle of Sheppey.
The appeal scheme sought planning permission to relocate an existing agricultural building which had previously been the subject of a successful prior approval application for its conversion into a dwelling. The Council refused planning permission on the grounds that the proposal would introduce a prominent and intrusive form of development in the countryside which it deemed unacceptable as a matter of principle. The Council also considered that the application failed to provide appropriate mitigation against harm to wildlife in the North Kent Marshes Special Protection Area (SPA).
Following JB Planning Associates’ appointment and a careful examination of the application documents, a strong planning case was presented at appeal. This involved the appointment of a landscape consultant to prepare a landscaping scheme to accompany the appeal submission for the Inspector’s consideration.
JB Planning Associates were able to demonstrate at appeal that the proposal would offer an improved form of development to the previous scheme allowed under the prior approval application, which itself constituted a legitimate fallback position.
The Inspector appointed to determine the appeal agreed that the fallback position would provide a realistic opportunity of development and found that the proposal would have a more beneficial and much reduced visual impact on the surrounding area than the existing building. He also concluded that the proposal would make a significant enhancement to its immediate setting and would offer improved living conditions for future occupiers.
As part of the case put forward on behalf of the client, JB Planning Associates drew the Inspector’s attention to the Council’s lack of a five year supply of housing land which renders the Council’s policies in relation to the supply of housing to be out of date, as set out in paragraph 11 of the NPPF. JB Planning Associates were able to successfully argue that these policies could only be afforded limited weight because of the housing supply shortfall and that the ‘tilted balance’ was engaged weighing in favour of granting planning permission.
The Inspector agreed that the most important policies for determining the application were out of date and therefore was required to consider whether the development proposed would amount to sustainable development. On this point, the Inspector concluded that the adverse impacts of the development proposed would not significantly and demonstrably outweigh its benefits when assessed against the policies in the NPPF when taken as a whole. Accordingly, it was deemed that the presumption in favour of sustainable development weighed in favour of the proposal.
Through discussions with the Council, JB Planning Associates were also able to arrange securing a financial contribution towards mitigation measures, allowing the Council’s reason for refusal relating to the development’s impacts on the SPA to be overcome.< back