Appeals over Green Belt developments in St Albans rejected
PUBLISHED: 17:30 26 March 2014
Two appeals launched to overturn rejected Green Belt schemes have been dismissed, with the planning inspectorate saying both bids would affect the district’s openness.
However St Albans district council’s handling of one of the planning applications resulted in partial costs being awarded against the authority.
A housing development proposed for land off Cherry Hill in Chiswell Green was deemed harmful and in “conflict” with St Albans district council’s current, but outdated, local plan.
And a planning application for a new home and garage on infill land in Gustard Wood was dismissed for being harmful to the Green Belt.
Inspector Steven Williamson said the gap on the infill land between 17 and 18 Gustard Wood was an important feature of the area, and made an “important contribution to the character of this part of the village and the Green Belt”.
The Mid-Herts Golf Club is located across the lane from the site.
The appellants, Mr and Mrs Callaghan, told the inspector they were dissatisfied with the council’s handling of the process that led up to the appeal application, including a previous planning application that was withdrawn, and the work undertaken by their agent assembling evidence in support of the appeal.
Mr Williamson said while the council had not behaved unreasonably, it had not adequately substantiated one of its reasons for refusing the scheme, and that partial awarding of costs was “justified”.
The council’s rejection of a 14-home scheme in Chiswell Green was upheld, with planning inspector Alan Wood saying it would result in “unacceptable harm to the character and appearance of the surrounding area”.
Barratt Homes had appealed against the council’s refusal of the two-and-a-half storey, five-bedroom homes, all of which were to have detached coach houses providing garage accommodation for vehicles, while nine would also have had living space incorporated.
In his decision Mr Wood said the scale and mass of the development would have appeared “very prominent in the street scene”.
The proposal also included gated access to nine driveways into the site, which Mr Wood said would contrast with, rather than complement, neighbouring development in Cherry Hill.
The inspector did, however, allude to the district’s current shortfall in its five-year housing supply.