Great news – on the 27th June 2017 the Planning Inspectorate dismissed the appeal by Hurlock Investments Ltd against the decision of East Hampshire District Council not to grant planning decision for the land adjacent to the Winchester Road SINC.
The main issue was whether the site is a suitable location for housing.
The Inspector concluded that the modest benefits of the scheme would not outweigh the harm of the proposal’s conflict with the development plan. The Inspector highlighted that:
- The Council has a plan led approach including a recently made neighbourhood plan and adopted Housing and Employment Allocations.
- The appeal site is located outside of the settlement policy boundary of Four Marks and is not an allocated site for housing which clearly conflicts with the above policies.
Because the “lottery win” to land owners and developers of getting planning approval is so great, I doubt that this is the last time there will be a planning application submitted for this land.
For the moment the protected animals that make the SINC their home have been given an extension and this is cause to celebrate – but not to be complacent.
It is unfortunate that, if you are a developer, our planning system rewards a small bet with a massive jackpot if you are granted planning permission. So the incentive is strong to keep betting in the hope that you might win even if you’ve been turned down many times in the past.
So having failed to gain planning permission in 2014 and failed on appeal in 2015; applied again in 2016 and refused again – they have lodged an appeal.
At the last appeal 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. “
Nothing has changed since – except perhaps for the political climate. So please write once more to the planning inspectorate, either online at https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk, or by post to Jagoda Bartkowiak,The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3P Kite Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN.
All representations must be received by 25 April 2017. All representations must quote the appeal reference APP/M1710/W/17/3168191
Barn Lane Action Group (BLAG) thank you all for your magnificent efforts in 2014. You firmly established with EHDC the strength of local concern about building on Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) and outside the settlement boundary of the village. As a campaign group we remain fully committed to protect the Barn Lane field and the two local SINCs into the future.
- The field forms a beautiful rural edge to Four Marks village and, with the SINCs, safe havens for endangered wild life. Within the immediate area of the village, the field is one of the few remaining easily accessible ‘countryside’ vistas.
- For the moment it appears that the threat from developers has reduced. EHDC seeem to have established a credible position on land supply which has enabled them to defeat developers’ appeals.
- But while we hope for the best, the proposed changes to local administration within East Hampshire and the wider Solent area may prove to be a concern.
- We also note the relentless rise in the UK population and the consequent demand for more houses. Supporters of the countryside and the rural way of life need to remain vigilant and supportive of further action.
Should any further attempt be made to develop Barn Lane (or other areas which would adversely impact the SINC sites at the western end of Four Marks), we will once again ask for the support of the local community to defeat the developers’ schemes.
Financial and time constraints both make it likely that any future BLAG campaign may well be digital rather than paper-based; we therefore ask supporters to contact us with their contact details or changes to these as they occur. Please continue to ask any friends and neighbours who are sympathetic to our campaign to let us have contact details.
Finally, please vote for the Neighbourhood Plan in the referendum coming up in May 2016. This is a very positive initiative to protect Four Marks from ill thought through development. It designates Barn Lane field as ‘countryside’ – an area outside the Settlement Policy Boundary where development will not normally be permitted……. and having voted we wish you all a fantastic year!