Planning consent granted for 9 houses in South Cambridgeshire won at appeal

Planning consent has just been granted for 9No. detached family houses in the village of Meldreth in a ground-breaking appeal decision. As the site is location outside the Development Framework (technically within the ‘countryside’) any form of development for private housing would normally be considered contrary to policy given that South Cambridge District Council currently have their five year land supply. However, the inspector found the location to be suitable for housing development due to its physical and functional relationship to the existing settlement and the access to services that the village provides, and considered that the benefit of providing the additional housing outweighed any harm. In his appeal decision the inspector concludes;


“Following the adoption of the SCLP the Council is able to demonstrate a five year housing land supply (5YHLS) and therefore the provisions of paragraph 11 of the National Planning Policy Framework (the Framework) do not apply. However, the Government is seeking to significantly boost the supply of housing and the Council’s ability to demonstrate a 5YHLS does not preclude the development of additional suitable sites.


The proposal would conflict with the development plan insofar as the site is not allocated for housing and is outside the village boundary. However, it is in an accessible location, suitably related physically and functionally to the village where the provision of up to nine additional houses would provide social and economic benefits and could help maintain and enhance the vitality of rural communities in line with sustainable development aims of the Framework


The indicative layout shows plot sizes that are comparable with the surrounding development and there is adequate flexibility within the scheme, to be determined at reserved matters stage, to avoid harm to the setting of the listed building. In visual terms, the site is self-contained, not a valued landscape and would not be viewed from any particularly sensitive places. The proposal would therefore not harm the wider character and appearance of the countryside.


Overall, I find that the benefits of the proposed development would significantly outweigh the harm I have found in terms of the limited conflict with the development plan. I therefore consider the appeal should be allowed.”