Falcon Developments-35 houses on Harts Lane
Falcon Developments submitted a planning application to build 35 houses on Harts Lane (19/02215/OUT) on 27 Aug 2019.
Many parishioners wrote to B&DBC raising objections to the planning application and voiced their concerns at a public meeting held in the Portal Hall on 18 Sep 2019. This informed the Parish Council's decision, which was unanimous in its opposition to this application.
The application was refused by B&DBC on 13 Nov 2019. On 11 August 2020 Falcon submitted an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, hoping to overturn the local planning authority's decision.
A Hearing to determine the appeal was held by the Planning Inspectorate on 3 Dec 2020. The chair of the parish council spoke for the parish against the application and was supported by Borough Councillor John Izett and two residents in the village.
Among his arguments the chair noted that were it not for coronavirus the referendum would have taken place in Jul 2020 and, assuming it was successful, the neighbourhood plan would have been made, which would have meant certain policies would have been in force so strengthening the case against the appeal.
Since this situation was so unusual, and 41 other neighbourhood plans around the country were in a similar position in respect of their referendums, the parish council agreed to ask that the Secretary of State 'recover' the case. This would take the decision from the Inspector and raise it to the level of Secretary of State himself
On 21 Dec 2020, the Planning Inspectorate informed the parish council that the 'recovery' request was not accepted as the circumstances were not considered sufficiently exceptional and that the Inspector would make his decision accordingly.
Happily, on 22 Dec 20, the Inspector dismissed the appeal. He did so for two key reasons: one was landscape, which in his assessment carried 'significant weight'. The other, which carried 'very significant weight', was the threat to the success of the neighbourhood plan at referendum. This argument, known as 'prematurity' was made by the parish council, not B&DBC and demonstrates how important it is that we remain closely engaged in all aspects of planning that might affect the parish in part or as a whole.