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Refusal for 38 houses and flats in West Hill goes to appeal

Tuesday, 15 November 2011 0 Comments by Claire

A decision during the spring to refuse permission to build 38 houses, including five storey flats in the centre of West Hill, has now gone to appeal.

Landowner, Nigel Hardy is challenging EDDC’s method of calculating housing land for the district, following in the footsteps of Blue Cedar Homes, which has appealed against refusal of 50 houses at Eastfield, West Hill.  The decision on this appeal is expected shortly and is anxiously awaited by residents.

The grounds for appeal for ‘Cooper Court’ acknowledges that the application is not in line with the current Local Plan, but claims there is justification for approval including the issue of the five year land supply calculation and the National Planning Policy Framework, which is still in draft form.

Last month, an appeal against a refusal to build a carbon neutral dwelling outside West Hill’s development boundary, was thrown out.  The Planning Inspector described the National Planning Policy Framework as carrying ‘little weight’ as it was still in draft form and subject to change.

The application to build 38 houses on a piece of land around 2.5 acres was controversial and caused anger in the village.  Many residents believed the proposal was out of keeping with West Hill’s low density semi-rural feel.  And EDDC’s tree officer robustly challenged the landowner’s tree survey, which claimed that five storey apartments, including basements next to a bank of beautiful mature beech trees, would not be harmful to their health.

All the previous comments to the application will now be forwarded to the planning inspectorate and it is understood that the appeal will take the form of an informal hearing, at a date to be agreed. 

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