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Bocking to get 265-home development after Gladman wins appeal


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The inspector decided against the 300-home scheme but backed a smaller alternative (pic Google Earth)

Gladman has struck in Bocking.
The land agent has won an appeal it launched in 2017 against Braintree District Council’s failure to rule on its application for a housing development within the statutory 13-week period.
The site, off Church Street, had been targeted with two proposals: one for 265 units and the other for 300. The appeal inspector chose to endorse the 265-home application, saying the smaller project would not blur the gap between Bocking and High Garrett.
She deemed the council’s relevant policies out of date as it could not demonstrate a five-year housing land supply and gave only limited weight to emerging Local Plan policies that showed the appeal site lying outside the settlement boundary and forming part of a green buffer.
Although she recognised that the even the 265-home development would change the site’s open character and almost fill the gap between Bocking and High Garrett, she felt a new orchard included in the proposal would limit its visual impact.
The absence of the orchard from the 300-unit scheme, together with the loss of land at the front of the site, on the other hand, would consolidate roadside development and have a visually harmful effect on the discrete identity of the two settlements.
Ultimately the inspector decided the benefits of the smaller scheme outweighed any landscape effects but that was not the case with the larger development.
Gladman Developments Ltd has attracted increasing criticism in recent years for exploiting councils’ inability to demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land as it looks to obtain planning permission for often unpopular housing schemes.