Greenlands Field currently lies outside the housing development boundary in Peasedown St John and was marked ‘unsuitable for development’ by Bath & NE Somerset Council in its Strategic Housing and Land Availability Assessment when the application was made.
Despite this, a house builder is proposing to build nearly 90 homes here.
What is the status of the proposal?
In 2012, Edward Ware Homes Ltd applied for outline planning permission to build 89 homes on Greenlands Field, an area of greenfield that lies outside of the housing development boundary. Planning Reference:12/05477/OUT
The developer made the application when the Council had reduced powers to stop unsuitable developments from being built. This is because – at the time - the Council’s planning laws were out of date, and a government inspector had identified a shortage of homes planned for the whole of Bath and North East Somerset. Because of this, and the pressure on the Council to find building sites, the planning application was approved by a Council planning officer.
This decision was then overturned by the Council’s Development Control Committee in July 2013. Their reasons were: pressure on the school, surgery and harm to landscape (policy NE1).
The developer (Edward Ware Homes Ltd) appealed the Committee’s decision and on 3 June 2014 following a two-day Appeal hearing, a Government Inspector granted Edward Ware Homes outline planning permission to build 89 homes (72 homes/17 flats) with one vehicular access.
Had the appeal been heard a month later when the Council was in possession of its government-approved Core Strategy for housing – the developer would have lost the appeal.
Edward Ware Homes sold the field to Curo and it’s now Curo’s responsibility to seek approval for the details of the development. They do this by submitting a Reserved Matters application, which deals with the scale, design and layout of the development. They are also responsible for meeting certain conditions laid out in the Appeal before any development can go ahead.
Curo’s first Reserved Matters application was submitted in February 2016. They withdrew the application because their design – which featured overbearing retaining walls of up to 7 metres above ground level and just six metres away from neighbouring homes – was deemed unacceptable by the Council.
Curo submitted their second Reserved Matters application in August 2016. Planning Reference: 16/03829/RES. A decision is still pending as of December 2016, and it will be referred directly to the Council’s Development Management Committee to review the planning officer’s recommendation. We believe the planning officer is minded to approve the plan, despite its serious flaws and the fact that the engineering works it proposes are beyond the scope of what is normally considered ‘Reserved Matters’.
See the Design Compliance Statement, the Site Sections and the FFL plans in particular.