Published: Thursday, 1st September 2016
Communities Secretary agrees with inspector’s recommendations and dismisses two appeals for large developments in Essex, concluding that neither proposal amounted to sustainable development…
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has dismissed two appeals over major housing schemes in rural Essex which together totalled proposals for up to 1,500 new homes.
The schemes from developer Land Securities involved housing-led projects for farm land west of Great Dunmow and, separately, north east of Elsenham. Both are Essex villages.
The outline proposals, blocked initially by Uttlesford District Council, also involved plans for schools, a care home, industrial, commercial and retail floor space as well as community facilities, renewable energy projects, solar heating, allotments, a nature park and in the case of the Elsenham project, a proposal for a waste water facility and pumping stations.
The two schemes were the subject of recovered appeal inquiries conducted by the same planning inspector who recommended that both should be dismissed.
Javid agreed with the inspector that that the council could demonstrate a five-year supply of developable housing sites. The decision letters concluded that the schemes would cause “harm to the character and appearance of the area”. The letters also pointed to the loss of the best and most versatile farm land and impact on the road network.
In both cases the Secretary of State said the adverse impacts of the proposals “would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits when assessed against the policies in the National Planning Policy Framework taken as a whole”. Neither proposal amounted to sustainable development, he insisted.