Our recent planning appeal for 6x dwellings in West Sussex highlights the importance of effective visuals when quantifying subjective planning issues. Key to our success in securing planning permission for this development was a meticulously thought out planning strategy and a considered presentation of our case, which included context maps which visually evidenced the benefits of the development.
We were asked by the developer to assist following a planning refusal for the scheme. The project had been recommended for approval by the planning officer, largely due to its allocation in the Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plan. However, the application was refused by councillors at the Horsham District Council Planning Committee. The main issues were:
- The perceived effect of the proposed dwellings on the character and appearance of the surrounding area; and
- The perceived effect of the proposed dwellings on neighbouring occupiers with regard to privacy.
In addition, due to complexities surrounding land ownership, the issue of the provision of financial contributions towards affordable housing also formed part of the appeal.
Planning strategy advice to secure success
We undertook a thorough review of the project, the decision, and local and national policy considerations. This informed our strategy for the appeal.
Working through the reasons for refusal, we prepared a robust written representations appeal. Through our comprehensive review, we identified an application precedent to support an approval which was instrumental to our case.
To bank the principle of development, we provided advice to our client about securing a Permission in Principle (PiP) for residential development at the site and the potential interactions of this with the appeal process. We also worked with planning lawyers to prepare a Unilateral Undertaking (UU) to provide a financial contribution towards affordable housing.
Quantitative Analysis on the Subjective Issue of Design
As the main issues largely focused on design matters, which can be a subjective area of planning, we were careful to present our findings in an objective manner. To facilitate this, we analysed the surrounding site context. We produced a figure ground plan to demonstrate the proposal maintained the general urban grain of the locality. We calculated the density of development proposals which compared favourably to both existing neighbouring developments and neighbouring developments with extant planning permission. We also calculated separation distances between the proposed houses and their nearest neighbours to demonstrate the distances significantly exceeded standards.
The quantitative aspect of our context analysis directly addressed the reasons for refusal. And our presentation of this, both through a written report and mapping tools made it easier for evidence to be visualised. We successfully demonstrated how the proposal responded effectively to local character and did not impact negatively on neighbours.
We are pleased that through our scrupulously thought out planning strategy and carefully considered appeal approach which culminated in the well thought-through presentation of our case, we were able to secure planning permission for six quality, family homes.
Plainview Planning consists of a team of dedicated, knowledgeable and experienced planning consultants. We are passionate about planning and achieving the best outcome for our clients and we pride ourselves on the positive relationships we build with Case Officers, stakeholders and communities. Contact Caroline via firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how the team can help you with your development project and to receive a bespoke fee quote for your scheme.
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IMAGE SOURCE: Amasia Architects (2018)
MAP PRODUCTION: Plainview Planning (2019)