Here is a copy of the appeal decision letter that I downloaded from the Planning Portal website.
It would seem that the appeal has been dismissed solely on it's visual effect on the street, all the other objections, that various residents have made, had no bearing on the appeal decision.
Site visit made on 26 October 2010
by Michael R Moffoot DipTP MRTPI DipMgt MCMI
an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Decision date: 15 November 2010
Appeal Ref: APP/D2510/A/10/2130000 35 Mount Pleasant, Louth LN11 9Dw
Appeal Ref: APP/D2510/A/10/2130000 35 Mount Pleasant, Louth LN11 9Dw
• The appeal is made under section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 against a refusal to grant planning permission.
• The appeal is made by Mr Chris Fairburn against the decision of East Lindsey District Council.• The application Ref. N/105/00266/10, dated 9 February 2010, was refused by notice
dated 7 May 2010.
• The development proposed is residential development consisting of 4 no. two storey town houses, 2 no. dormer bungalows, 3 no. bungalows construction of a private drive,6 no. detached garages, associated hard standings and boundary treatments.
1. The appeal is dismissed.
2. The main issue is the effect of the proposed development on the character and appearance of the area.
3. National Policy in Planning Policy Statement (PPS) 1: Delivering Sustainable Development and PPS3: Housing endorses the effective and efficient use of land in sustainable locations such as the appeal site. It also encourages high quality and inclusive design, advising that design which is inappropriate in its context, or which fails to take the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of an area, should not be accepted. Moreover, both documents seek to promote or reinforce local distinctiveness and ensure that new development is well integrated with and complements neighbouring buildings and the local area in terms of scale, density, layout and access. Saved Policies A5 and H12 of the adopted East Lindsey Local Plan Alteration 1999 are consistent with these objectives.
4. Development on the north side of Mount Pleasant in the vicinity of the appeal site is characterised by a variety of detached and semi-detached bungalows and two storey properties generally set on deep plots complemented by well-established gardens. Older dwellings tend to adjoin the highway whereas later development is set back slightly in a more conventional suburban form. As a consequence,whilst there is no pronounced building line or predominant built form or dwelling style, the linear pattern of housing is clearly evident. It is this context that I consider should inform the development of the appeal site and is a significant factor in relation to the acceptability of the proposal.
5. Plots 1-4 of the proposed scheme would front the highway, and would comprise two pairs of semi-detached, two-storey dwellings with associated garages. The scale, massing and disposition of the buildings would be enhanced by traditional design detailing and materials, and as a result these dwellings would respond effectively to the properties to either side of the site and would satisfactorily integrate with and contribute positively to the wider street scene.
6. The entrance to the shared vehicular and pedestrian access serving the development would be flanked by large paved driveways, garages, hard surfaced frontages and brick boundary walling, with little scope for landscaping to soften the impact of these solid features. Such a wide, conspicuous gap in the frontage would provide views of the single-storey properties to the rear of the site and their driveways and gardens, and the visual impact of the tight-knit layout would be compounded by the tarmacadam access road. Gaps at either end of the frontage would also permit views of the development to the rear of the site, albeit they would be relatively restricted. The compact nature of the layout would reinforce the perception of development in depth on the site; a format which would be markedly at odds with the established open grain and discernible pattern of linear development on the north side of Mount Pleasant that I have described.
7. As a result, the scheme would have little affinity with its surroundings and would fail to take advantage of the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of the area. It would also be incompatible with the aim of the LP to promote local distinctiveness. I acknowledge that national planning policy continues to encourage the efficient re-use of land within settlements notwithstanding the recent deletion of the indicative minimum of 30 dwellings per hectare from PPS3, but this should not be at the expense of the character and appearance of the area.
8. In coming to these findings, I have taken into account other sites in Mount Pleasant where development in depth has taken place. The scheme at No. 63 pre-dates PPS1, PPS3 and Manual for Streets (MfS) which encourage layouts that are responsive to local distinctiveness and context. Although the development at Nos. 53/55 post-dates PPS1, it does not reflect the prevailing pattern and grain of development I have described and to which I attach significant importance, and both schemes reaffirm my view that the appeal proposal is unacceptable. My attention was also drawn to a small housing development at the eastern end of Mount Pleasant, but no details of the circumstances leading to the grant of permission in that case have been provided. I do not therefore accept that this, or the other examples cited,set a precedent for allowing the appeal proposal.
9. For these reasons, I conclude on the main issue that the proposed development would unacceptably harm the character and appearance of the area, in conflict with Policies A5 and H12 of the Local Plan and national policy in PPS1, PPS3 and MfS.
10. I now turn to other matters raised in representations. The Council is concerned that the proposal would result in a poor quality living environment for future occupiers of the new dwellings. I see no reason why the proximity of some of the properties to parking areas and the access road would create unsatisfactory living conditions, as these areas and the access road could be partly screened by appropriate landscaping and other boundary treatment. The outlook from the dwelling on Plot 6 would not be unduly restricted, but the proximity of the front lounge window on Plot 8 to the boundary fence and gable of the dwelling on Plot 9 would be somewhat oppressive notwithstanding that the room would be served by two windows. This matter would not,however, justify dismissal of the appeal.
11. A number of residents in the area have expressed strong concerns regarding the implications of the proposal for highway and pedestrian safety, and particularly on Little Lane, which would generally be the route used to access the appeal site. In view of the limited number of dwellings proposed in relation to the overall amount of properties served by Little Lane, I consider that the traffic associated with the development would not appreciably exacerbate any existing problems for users of the route,including t hose using the footways. Mount Pleasant is also capable of accommodating the traffic generated by the proposal.
12. Visibility would be adequate at the site access, and its proximity to the junction with Robinson Lane would not create significant highway safety issues. The proposal makes adequate provision for off-street parking to serve the development , and any over spill parking that may occasionally occur could be accommodated on Mount Pleasant, where levels of on-street parking are likely to be low given that most properties have off-street parking space. As there are no footways to either side of the site, no justification exists for one along the site frontage.
13. The development would not result in undue overlooking or loss of outlook for surrounding occupiers, and the temporary effects of construction noise and disruption are common to all new development, and can be reasonably restricted by condition to normal working hours.
14. I do not find the level of detail and information in the reason for refusal to be inadequate as the appellant asserts. Furthermore, the Council's objections to the proposal are clearly set out in the officer's report and the subsequent appeal statement which the appellant has had the opportunity to comment on.Other submissions concern matters unrelated to the planning merits of the appeal, and do not affect my judgement of the issues that I consider relevant to the case.
15. Although I have found that most of these other matters do not militate against the proposal, none of them outweighs the conflict with national and local planning policies that would occur if the appeal were to be allowed. For the reasons given above and having regard to all other matters raised, I conclude that the appeal should be dismissed.
Michael R Moffoot