Another significant appeal win and planning permission achieved for Hayston Developments & Planning Ltd especially given the planning history of the site as having three previous planning application refusals since 2014.
In 2014 an application was made to Pembrokeshire County Council for the erection of a dwelling at a plot in Sycamore Woods, Pembroke Dock. However, this was refused. It was considered that the majority of the site was located outside the settlement boundary, it was cramped affecting residential amenity, its siting on higher grounds could lead to overlooking and a detrimental impact on local amenity and it would ultimately not be in accord with the character and capacity of the site and area. Further details of scale and layout were requested by the Council. The second application was refused in 2016. Despite the submission of further detail it was still deemed that the site was cramped and had an overbearing impact resulting in loss of residential amenity. The Council did not consider at this time that any scale of residential development within the defined settlement boundary could be designed to mitigate the identified concerns. The third and final application for the site was refused for the same reasons on 1st April 2016. It was at this point that the applicant engaged with Hayston for additional support and to submit an appeal.
Hayston advised on a strategy of submitting a forth application for this site, whilst also appealing against the previous refusal. After reviewing the Council’s refusal reasons Hayston identified flaws in their evaluation that could be challenged and considered with quality presentation, and development of a robust case, both an appeal win and the approval of a new carefully designed planning application could be achieved. As you will see from the both decision notices below (the appeal and planning application) this strategy and further negotiations at the appeal hearing were key to achieving successful outcomes.
On 23rd August 2016 the Council granted permission for a newly designed bespoke contemporary dwelling on the site (Ref: 16/0453/PA). Within the delegated decision report the Council made the following comments within their evaluation:
· The dwelling has been designed to take account of the constraints of the site, including the location of the settlement boundary, size of the site and site levels…. The design of the proposed dwelling is unusual in its appearance and partially sunk into the ground.
· The proposed finished floor levels and overall height are lower than previous submissions.
· Whilst the scale, nature and appearance of the proposed dwelling differs from those in the vicinity of the site, due to its positioning and low lying nature it is considered that the proposed dwelling would be compatible with the capacity and character of the site and the area in which it is located.
· The proximity to the existing residential development remains similar to previous submissions, however, the scale and nature of the proposed dwelling differs from previous refused applications…………………..it is considered that the proposed dwelling would not result in a significant detrimental impact on local amenity, therefore the proposal complies with criterion 2 of policy GN1 of the LDP.
- An appeal hearing against the Council’s decision to refuse the previous application (ref: 15/1154/PA) was held on 14th September 2016 and the Inspectors decision was issued on 11th November 2016. The Inspector allowed the appeal and instructed that planning permission be granted for this original design. Hayston made a robust case against the Council’s reasons for refusal concluding that the proposal was in fact acceptable. The Inspector agreed citing the following comments in the appeal decision notice:
- A clear majority of the site indisputably lies within the settlement boundary. The proposal would not result in a significant encroachment into the open countryside such that the strategic aims of the LDP Policy GN 26 would be offended.
- Whilst the scale, orientation and location of the dwelling would depart from the prevailing form and pattern of development on Sycamore Woods, I consider that it would not appear incongruous within the street scene.
- The lowering of the ground level would significantly reduce the prominence of the appeal site, and the retaining wall, earthen banks or similar would be largely screened by the prevailing topography from many viewpoints.
- I must have regard to the planning permission (ref: 16/0453/PA) granted by the Council for the appeal site. In addition to a proposed flat roofed, tiered dwelling of contemporary design, the extant permission would result in structural and physical ground works similar to those that would result from the appeal scheme. Notwithstanding the lower height of the permitted dwelling, I consider that the effects on the character and appearance of the immediate area would be similar in type and magnitude. I afford this extant permission significant weight and , for the reasons given, conclude the proposal would not result in material harm to the character and appearance of the area and would therefore accord with the design objectives of LDP policies GN 1 and GN2.
- At the hearing the appellant proposed a condition to reduce the ground level of the appeal site by an additional metre. I consider that reducing the site level by an additional metre would allow a dwelling to be constructed on the appeal site which would avoid harmful overshadowing or overbearing impacts on Nos 4 and 6…. The proposal would not unacceptably harm the living conditions of neighbouring occupants.