Fight goes on for campaigners despite planning appeal success

PUBLISHED: 08:17 09 September 2019

Part of the site that was included in the Countryside Properties Newport application. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Part of the site that was included in the Countryside Properties Newport application. Picture: CONTRIBUTED


Campaigners opposed to new housing developments in Newport say their fight will continue, just days after the Planning Inspectorate refused an appeal by a developer for 150 new properties in the village.

Countryside Properties UK saw its bid for new homes off Wicken Road refused by Uttlesford District Council (UDC) last May but the firm decided to appeal the case to the inspectorate.

An inquiry hearing took place in February this year and, on August 30, the inspector released a report, ruling that the appeal should be dismissed.

The decision was welcomed by campaigners in the village but they say their attentions will now turn to a second upcoming appeal, this time for 74 houses off Wicken Road, submitted by Gladman Developments.

Councillor Neil Hargreaves, member for Newport, said: "The good news for the district is that the inspector gave medium weight to the new local plan, for which the site was considered and rejected. This means the new plan is at long last giving us some protection against unsuitable developments.

"The fight, however, continues. Gladman have appealed against another Newport refusal, for 74 houses which would fill in the last large green area leaving the village towards Clavering. The site is the other side of Wicken Road from the one just refused. As well as the same landscape damage already noted, it would do serious harm to the views of our Grade I-listed church.

"The parish council has spent more than £70,000 fighting off Countryside and has more costs to fight Gladman. Every house in the village has the flyer asking for contribution to the fighting fund. We have shown we can win, but there are yet more appeals coming."

In his report, the planning inspector, Stephen Normington, said the Countryside application would not cause an unacceptable rise in pollution or have a detrimental impact on the safety of the local road network.

However, Mr Normington said the development would be "unacceptably harmful" to the character and appearance of the area.

He said: "The proposal would have a significant adverse and unacceptable effects on the landscape character of the area and would also result in unacceptable visual impacts.

"Consequently, I find that the scheme would be unacceptably harmful to the character and appearance of the surrounding area for the reasons described. Furthermore, such harm would not accord with the environmental dimension of sustainable development."

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