Residential development in Bexhill allowed at planning appeal

Plainview Planning has secured planning permission at appeal for 4 dwellings on a site near Bexhill, Sussex.

Rother District Council had refused the application on the grounds that the site is outside of the defined of the settlement boundary and that the proposed development would impact upon the intrinsic character of the countryside.

The Planning Inspector accepted that Rother District Council did not have a 5-year land supply and that their historic under-supply should be accommodated within the within the first 5 years of the plan period. Consequently, the Council’s settlement boundary policies were deemed to be out of date.

The Planning Inspector also accepted that the site was not in an isolated location in the countryside, as despite being 700 metres from a settlement boundary, it was adjacent to ribbon development.

The Council had claimed that the garden made an important contribution to the character of the countryside, however the Planning Inspector accepted that the domestic garden ‘makes no great contribution to the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside’.

The Planning Inspector made an important observation in respect to residential development in rural areas and their impact on transport movements, stating:

“decisions should ensure that developments that generate significant movement are located where the need to travel will be minimised and the use of sustainable transport modes can be maximised. Residential development on a site of 0.3ha would not lead to ‘significant’ movement and therefore the adverse consequences of the development would not be of a high order”.

The need for housing in Bexhill was deemed greater than any potential associated car-borne trips.

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