Agenda item

Harling : Cloverfields, Lopham Road : Proposed Residential Development of 17 no. Houses Including a Mix of 2, 3 and 4 Bedroom Houses : Applicant Mr Burton : Reference : 3PL/2010/1079/F

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive


The application was for a residential development on the edge of Harling and would comprise of 17 dwellings.  The site was already partly developed. Affordable housing fell slightly short of 40%.  The Applicant was not a developer but there were no obstacles to development known.


The proposal would significantly exceed the planned level of growth for Harling and would conflict with the spatial vision for the area with regard to existing housing commitments in the village.  The development would compound over supply and take units over 50.  It was important to recognise that the 50 unit allocation was not a ceiling but did give a clear view of the overall spatial vision and concern was that this application tipped the balance.


Density was relatively low, with the tree belt being retained.  The proposal did have a number of merits as outlined in the report and it would make a contribution towards housing land supply (land with planning permission was included in the 5 year land supply).


Mr Belton, Agent said that for clarity, the 50 dwellings were not a constraining number with regard to spatial vision.  He stated a Planning Inspector had stated that this allocation would not conflict with Breckland’s core strategy and that paragraphs 69 and 71 of PPS3 were a general guidance and not an absolute requirement.  He added that 11 of the 17 dwellings  were outside of the Settlement Boundary, and the proposal would help the Authority meet its housing contribution.  It had considerable merit and would meet the core strategies and he felt it would be unreasonable to refuse.


Concern was raised by a Councillor that the Committee had reluctantly agreed in the past to go up to 65 which was above the 50 house guideline for Harling, and with the current application the Committee had been asked for a 60% increase on the 50 houses.  The residents did not want an excess of houses built in their parish and he believed the increase to 82 houses would not be sustainable for the parish.


Councillors were concerned that Highways had not raised an objection despite there being one access road shared with an industrial estate.  The Principal Planning Officer clarified the history of the previous development and that Highways’ concern was about restricted visibility but since that time, they had raised no objections.  A Councillor stated the whole estate had been engineered around retaining access and he felt aggrieved for the previous developer of the original 25 dwellings.


East Harling was a service centre and only a very short distance from a train station and fire station, it was very well serviced.


Having been through site specific panel meetings Members had been mindful to listen to Parish Councils and once again, Harling Parish Council had made it quite plain that they did not wish any more development.  The road was very difficult to negotiate, the nursery school was full to capacity and if the objections of Harling Parish Council were overridden, it would be contrary to what had been discussed at the site specific meeting.


RESOLVED that planning permission was refused on the grounds that


(1)       the development would conflict with policies designed to limit new housing development outside defined settlement boundaries


(2)       the proposals failed to satisfy the requirements of PPS3, notably paragraphs 69 and 71     

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