Planning update – Autumn 2015

The last couple of months has brought two pieces of good news – welcome as we enter December and the Christmas season.

In October we heard that the developer’s planning appeal for the Noah’s Ark development had been dismissed. Interestingly the commentary made much of the potential impact on the countryside and that, with a five year land supply in place, development should not occur outside the settlement boundary. Quite a dramatic change from the “concrete over the fields” interpretation of the NPPF that seemed to be in place last year.

In November the Planning Inspectorate dismissed the appeal by the developer Hurlock Invesments Ltd.  on the land to the rear of 131 Winchester Road (i.e. the SINC).  This Site of Importance for Nature Conservation is threatened by the development of Medstead Farm which cuts its wildlife off from open farmland (perhaps I’m being too sceptical about the effectiveness of the provided “deer paths” and dormouse bridges? …. no!).

The planning inspector concluded “that the proposed development would cause harm to the SINC and would fail to protect the hazel dormice. It would be in conflict with Policy CP21 which amongst other things seeks to maintain, enhance and protect district wide biodiversity and to protect and, where appropriate, strengthen populations of protected species. “

The Inspector also noted that the proposed development would have an adverse effect on the character and appearance of the area turning it from a semi-rural into a suburban environment.

Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the last planning application or appeal that threatens the Winchester Road SINC, given developer’s greed, but for the moment the wildlife has had a reprieve.

A very Happy Christmas to you all.