Developer Miller Homes has lost its appeal over a residential development of 80 homes at the Northamptonshire hill-top village of West Haddon because the outline proposals were not sustainable in environmental terms and – significantly – the project risked undermining the relevant neighbourhood plan.
Communities Secretary Greg Clark has agreed with the planning inspector who held the recovered appeal hearing that the scheme, which included new access and open space, landscaping and drainage infrastructure, should be refused.
Daventry District Council members had refused the scheme, against the advice of officials, after deciding the proposals would affect open land, and would result in a visually intrusive form of development which would adversely affect the local landscape. The appeal site comprises around 3.5 hectares of managed and grazed grassland located on an elevated ridge on the north western side of West Haddon
The inspector concluded that the proposed development would have a detrimental effect on the form and setting of the village and would be detrimental to the character and appearance of the landscape. In both respects these breached local development plan policies. Clark concurred.
Clark agreed with the inspector and concluded that the scheme would undermine the emerging West Haddon Neighbourhood Development Plan.
Clark’s decision letter acknowledged that scheme would mean the provision of 36 affordable homes, the payment of New Homes Bonus and a net gain for biodiversity.
However, those benefits, said Clark, were “significantly and demonstrably outweighed by [the scheme’s] adverse effects.”