Plans for 28 new homes approved on appeal
Matthew Smith, local democracy reporter
- Credit: Beck Homes
Developers will be allowed to build 28 new homes in Ashwell, after a planning inspector overruled the district council.
North Herts Council rejected the plans last year, after concerns were raised that it was inappropriate for the village, but the development will now go ahead.
Developers Beck Homes had previously applied to build 46 homes on a larger site, which was refused by both the district council and planning inspector.
However, the smaller revised scheme has been backed by the inspector, who concluded the building of new homes would outweigh the “moderately adverse” impact on the area.
The scheme, in Station Road, includes 11 affordable homes and 17 for the open market, with dwellings starting from one-bedroom units, up to larger detached houses.
The district council’s planning committee rejected the scheme in May 2021, after officers recommended refusal and said even the revised plans could “harm the intrinsic beauty of this area of countryside”, and was against planning policy.
Ashwell Parish Council had also lodged an objection to the proposals, citing “unacceptable” traffic impacts and damage to the impact of the character of the countryside.
However, in a decision published last week, inspector William Cooper said planning permission should be granted for the development, which will also include a wildflower meadow and woodland.
- 1 New mayor elected in historic moment for Royston Town Council
- 2 Therfield pub celebrates lockdown heroes
- 3 Iceland offers over 60s discount on shopping bill every week
- 4 World IBD Day: Crohn's disease sufferer speaks out
- 5 Stalking Protection Order issued to Herts man after obsessive behaviour towards ex
- 6 Beer from Lidl and vegan chocolates among items recalled over safety fears
- 7 Garden centre to host royal treat for Queen's Platinum Jubilee
- 8 Royston Methodists welcome leading figures to church
- 9 Met Office weather: Yellow storm and flood warning for East of England
- 10 Queen, Alicia Keys and Diana Ross to star in BBC's Platinum Jubilee Party
Mr Cooper said it was important to weigh up the benefits of providing new homes in the district against any concerns about the impact on the village.
The inspector also said there was no objection to the proposals from the county council on highways grounds so would not consider traffic problems.
Hertfordshire County Council had initially objected to the proposals saying there was not the space in the village’s primary school to accommodate more children, but said updated forecasts had indicated some surplus capacity.
In his decision, Mr Cooper acknowledged a “moderate” risk of harm to the area’s character and appearance, but said this would not “significantly and demonstrably outweigh the substantial totality of planning benefits”, and the development should go ahead despite not being included in the council’s emerging Local Plan.
The decision read: “The proposal benefits from the presumption in favour of sustainable development. I find that this consideration is of sufficient weight to indicate that planning permission should be granted, notwithstanding the conflict with the development plan. I, therefore, conclude that the appeal succeeds.”