Agenda item

Planning Application DC/23/1639/FUL - Land adjacent to Home Farm Barns, Edmunds Hill, Stradishall (Report No: DEV/WS/24/003)

Report No: DEV/WS/24/003


Planning application - one dwelling


(Councillor Roger Dicker declared, in the interests of openness and transparency, that he was well acquainted with the applicant as he was a regular customer of the Post Office Councillor Dicker operated. He would therefore refrain from taking part in consideration of the application and the voting thereon.)


Planning application - one dwelling


This application was referred to the Development Control Committee following consideration by the Delegation Panel.


The Parish Council had raised no objection to the scheme. Officers were recommending that it be refused, for the reasons set out in Paragraph 55 of Report No DEV/WS/24/003.


Speaker:      Harry Dibden (architect) spoke in support of the application


Further to discussion by the Committee, the Service Manager (Planning – Development) explained that no ecological assessment or details of biodiversity enhancement had been submitted with this application, likewise no flood risk assessment or drainage strategy had been provided, receipt of this further information may have enabled refusal reasons Nos 4 and 5 to be overcome.


Councillor Sara Mildmay-White supported the Officer’s recommendation and therefore moved that the application be refused. This was duly seconded by Councillor Mike Chester.


Upon being put to the vote and with 10 voting for the motion, 4 against and with 2 abstentions it was resolved that




Planning permission be REFUSED for the following reasons:


 1       The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires the planning system to recognise the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and actively manage patterns of growth to make the fullest possible use of public transport, walking and cycling and focus development in sustainable locations. Policy DM5 of the Joint Development Management Policies Document (Development within the Countryside) provides that areas designated as countryside will be protected from unsustainable development and policy DM27 sets out the strict circumstances where dwellings will be permitted outside of the identified settlement boundaries. The site does not form part of a cluster of 10 or more dwelling. The site is also not a small undeveloped plot or part of an otherwise continuous frontage. The proposal does not meet the provisions of policies DM5 or DM27 and there are no material considerations which outweigh this very significant conflict with the Development Plan. The Local Planning Authority is able to demonstrate an up to date 5-year housing supply and as such, given that the principle of development in this location is not supported, are under no pressure to approve applications for development which are in conflict with the development plan. In addition, the site's location would require future occupiers of the proposed dwelling to travel to access shopping, education, employment, recreation, and social facilities. The majority of these journeys would inevitably, given the rural location, be by private motor vehicle. The proposal for an additional residential dwelling in this countryside location, beyond any defined settlement boundaries therefore represents an unsustainable form of development. Accordingly, the proposal fails to satisfy policies RV1 and RV3 of the Rural Vision, policies CS1 and CS4 of the St Edmundsbury Core Strategy 2010 and policies DM5 and DM27 of the Joint Development Management Policies Document 2015.


 2       Policy DM2 requires that development recognises and addresses the key features and characteristics of an area. This is reiterated in policy DM22 which seeks to secure appropriate residential design that accords with the local area, through its built form. The proposal will have a detrimental impact on the undeveloped and rural character of the locality. Given the rural setting of the site, the introduction of a permanent structure and its associated domestic paraphernalia within a large garden will erode the spacious views of Home Farm Barns which themselves contribute to the character of the local area on the edge of Stradishall. The proposal results in development which encroaches into the open countryside beyond the historic arrangement of nearby buildings. The proposal would therefore fail to preserve or enhance the character, appearance and setting of the conservation area. The proposal would therefore be contrary to the provisions of policies DM2, DM17 and DM22 of the Joint Development Management Policies Document 2015 and policy CS3 of the Core Strategy 2010.


 3       Policy DM15 states that proposals to alter, extend or change the use of a listed building or development affecting its setting will be permitted where they are of an appropriate scale, form, height, massing and design which respects the existing building and its setting. Home Farm Barns exhibits evidence of the former courtyard arrangement where maps indicate historically the yard was enclosed on all sides by buildings with the farmhouse located outside of the yard further to the north east. This arrangement is a common arrangement for farmsteads within the eastern region.  The setting of the farmstead appears to have changed little according to map regression and remains undeveloped today. The development to include a dwelling and associated domestic garden would fail to relate to the enclosed courtyard arrangement of the historic farmstead and its undeveloped setting where agricultural buildings were cantered around the yard. Such an arrangement was often dictated by the type of farming and use of buildings. Proposals which fail to respect the historic arrangement compromising the undeveloped setting would fail to accord with the requirement to preserve the building or its setting causing harm to significance. The NPPF requires great weight to be given to the asset’s conservation with any harm or loss (to include harm arising from development within its setting) requiring clear and convincing justification. The proposed development is considered to cause less than substantial harm (towards the upper end of less than substantial harm) to the significance of a number of heritage assets. Paragraph 202 of the NPPF is therefore engaged. As a market dwelling is proposed there are no public benefits to this proposal and therefore no benefit that would outweigh the harm identified. The proposal is therefore contrary to policy DM15 of the Joint Development Management Policies Document 2015 and paragraph 202 of the NPPF (2023).


4        As required by the National Planning Policy Framework (2023) at paragraphs 8, 174 and 180, the Local Planning Authority have a duty to consider the conservation of biodiversity and to ensure that valued landscapes or sites of biodiversity are protected when determining planning applications. At a local level, this is exhibited through policies CS2, DM10, DM11 and DM12. Noting this is a greenfield site on the edge of the open countryside and within a 200m buffer for protected and notable species (Barn Owl), however, no ecological assessment or details of biodiversity enhancement has been submitted with this application. Therefore, the LPA cannot confirm whether or not the proposal would have adverse impacts in relation to biodiversity. As such, the application contains insufficient information to demonstrate compliance with policies CS2 of the Core Strategy 2010 and policies DM10, DM11 and DM12 of the Joint Development Management Policies Document 2015.


5             Part of the site is identified as being within the 1 in 1000 year flood risk area for surface water flooding. No flood risk assessment or drainage strategy has been provided so it is not possible to determine that the development of the site will not cause or exacerbate flooding elsewhere. The proposal is therefore contrary to policy DM6 and para 159 of the NPPF which seeks to ensure new development is directed to areas of lowest flood risk.

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