New homes in Green Belt approved thanks to ‘very special circumstances’
“Very special circumstances” were cited as a planning inspector granted permission on appeal for almost 40 homes in the Green Belt.
Epping Forest District Council had in June last year refused the plans at Stoneshot Farm near Nazeing, but inspector Helen Hockenhull has now overturned that decision.
She granted consent to Haycross and Hogg Construction for the demolition of a redundant poultry abattoir and the construction of a five-bed residential apartment, 18 semi-detached houses and 18 affordable homes, with parking, gardens and landscaping.
Ms Hockenhull acknowledged that the scheme would cause “harm to the openness of the Green Belt” and hence be inappropriate development but noted an existing permission on the site for eight detached family homes and 10 affordable homes; hence the harm would be “limited”, she ruled.
She said the appeal scheme would not have any greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt than the approved development, regarding this as a material consideration.
Further, she noted the council could not demonstrate a five-year housing land supply, saying the proposed scheme would make a “significant contribution” to new market and affordable housing in Epping Forest.
Improved road safety and air quality through residential rather than industrial use were also cited as Ms Hockenhull concluded the plan’s benefits “clearly outweigh” any harm.
“These then represent the very special circumstances… sufficient to justify a proposal for inappropriate development in the Green Belt,” she said.
Wednesday, August 7, 2019