Planning Inspector endorses CDC’s rejection of proposed ‘Humpty Dumps’ development
Release date: 2 March 2018
The Planning Inspectorate has upheld Cotswold District Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for a new development of 21 houses on a popular greenfield site- known locally as the ‘Humpty Dumps’ - on the edge of Cirencester.
The planning application was refused under delegated powers, in consultation with the relevant Ward Member, Cllr. Mark Harris in April 2017. The developer, Piper Ventures Ltd, subsequently appealed to the Planning Inspectorate with a view to overturning the decision. The appeal was heard via an Informal Hearing In November last year.
In her decision letter dated 1 March 2018, the Planning Inspector, Mrs R C Kirby, concluded that the appeal proposal was not sustainable because it represented “a significant encroachment of built development into a pleasant and distinctive landscape.” She observed that the planned development,, located within the North Cirencester Special Landscape Area, “would significantly erode the landscaped setting” of the town. She concluded that “the harm that would be caused to the landscape character of the area and the setting of Cirencester would be significant, would conflict with the development plan and the role of environmental sustainability. The benefits associated with the proposal would not either individually or cumulatively outweigh this harm.”
The outcome of the appeal has been warmly welcomed by CDC and the local community.
Cllr Mark MacKenzie-Charrington, the Cabinet Member for Planning at CDC, said:
“This is great news - the Planning Inspector recognised the strength of our argument at a time when there is often a presumption in favour of new development. The Council’s Planning Officer and Landscape Officer involved in this case warrant a special mention; they provided very clear and robust evidence to the Inspector regarding the benefits of the proposals and the harm that would result from the development. Clearly the Inspector was persuaded by those arguments and subsequently dismissed the appeal.”
Cllr Mark Harris, the CDC Member for Cirencester College Ward, was also delighted to hear the Inspector’s conclusions:
“There were significant objections from the community when this planning application was submitted, and the relief when it was rejected turned to anxiety when the developer appealed. We are all very pleased that the Inspector has recognised the potential harm to the landscape and character of this lovely area, and I trust that future generations will continue to enjoy this much loved open space.”