Approval at Planning Committee for a self-build development in Great Notley

We are delighted to have helped our client obtain planning approval for 4 homes on land outside the settlement boundary in Great Notley, Essex.

The site has been in our client’s family for several decades and they were keen to see a high quality development which will include 2 x self-build dwellings on site.

The site:

Situated just outside the settlement boundary, the 0.4ha greenfield site was subject to a local policy which seeks to restrict development in such locations. The site was further complicated by its close proximity to a Grade II and Grade II* listed building.

Ascertaining the site’s potential:

Our involvement with the site was longstanding, having previously worked with our client on a scheme for 8 x dwellings.  Whilst we were successful in establishing the principle of development on site, the subsequent appeal was dismissed on grounds of density in the context of local character.

However, the Planning Inspector accepted the planning arguments we had put forward to support the site for development, namely that:

  • the site was not isolated;
  • it had strong public transport connections and excellent access to local amenities;
  • there was no material impact upon the nearby listed buildings.
  • that the Council could not demonstrate a 5 year housing land supply;
  • that the proposal would not represent any material harm and would meet the core principles of the NPPF in relation to sustainability;
  • that the council had recently reinforced the notion of Great Notley as a sustainable location by identifying it as a strategic growth location in the emerging local plan.

In light of the conclusions set out in the appeal decision we felt that a revised application would have an excellent chance of success and we engaged in an effective pre-application meeting with the Council, to establish clear development principles and parameters, including:

  • the number of dwellings the site could comfortably accommodate;  
  • and the type of housing which would be deemed appropriate.

We worked alongside the Council’s planning and design officers to ensure an appropriate scheme could be developed that would respect the character of the local area and would not impact negatively on neighbouring amenity.

Making the case for self-build:

We also identified that the Council had no policies or local initiatives to help support or to enable the delivery of self or custom build housing. This is contrary to the guidance in the National Planning Policy Framework and ongoing government interest in self-build schemes.  

Moving forward to an approval:

The revised application responded to the points raised in the previous refusal and presented a scheme which was:

  • demonstrably sustainable;
  • more spacious and at a density suitable for the site;
  • and would not result in any isolated new homes in the countryside

After effective engagement and negotiation with the Council, we were delighted that the application was recommended for approval by the planning department at Braintree, and subsequently approved at Planning Committee.

Find out more:

We have extensive experience of obtaining planning permissions for rural sites and those outside of the settlement boundary.  To find out more, click on the link below to read about some of our other projects in this area: rural developments.