"Unwelcome" plans are turned down

PUBLISHED: 07:12 17 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:47 31 May 2010

Architect’s impression of the proposed homes

Architect's impression of the proposed homes

A WHOLLY unwelcome and poorly conceived planning application for new houses in Sewards End has been refused permission. The application, made by Agricultural Land Investments, was for the construction of 16 houses and eight flats, on land at Sewards End

A "WHOLLY unwelcome and poorly conceived" planning application for new houses in Sewards End has been refused permission.

The application, made by Agricultural Land Investments, was for the construction of 16 houses and eight flats, on land at Sewards End Farm, in Redgate Lane to the north of the village.

The proposal was met with outrage by villagers, 212 of whom signed a petition of protest that was delivered to Uttlesford District Council as an objection to the plan.

Sewards End Parish Council Clerk, Tracy Coston, said: "This application was recommended for refusal by the parish council.

"It was so wrong; there was nothing really right about it and the parish council is very pleased that it has been refused.

"The proposed development was totally inappropriate for the area, outside the village's development limits and would have made the village feel like Tower Hamlets."

The application was refused at a meeting of Uttlesford District Council's development control committee held last Wednesday.

The accommodation that was planned for the development consisted of two four-bedroom houses, 14 three-bedroom houses and eight two-bedroom flats.

Gerald Payne, representing Brewer Payne & Associates, the applicant's agent, said that he was disappointed that the application was refused.

He said: "The council failed to notify us that our application was going to be heard and it was only by accident that we discovered this and were able to attend.

"It is disappointing that the application was refused as the buildings utilised very elegant architecture designed by the late Vincent Hastwell, who sadly died last October."

The buildings incorporated solar panels into their design, but this was judged by objectors to be "an attempt to add weight to a weak case for sustainable development".

It was criticised for not being "sustainably located" as residents travelling to jobs and shops would be forced to use their cars.

The County Highway Authority estimated that the accommodation would lead to 192 car journeys per day, based on there being eight movements per day per household, and that this would put excessive pressure on the rural lane that provides access to the site.

The development control committee's case officer, Tony Morton, recommended the application for refusal.

In his recommendation to the committee he said: "This is a wholly unwelcome and poorly conceived proposal that can only be viewed as contrary to planning policy at national, county and local level.

"It can only be recommended for refusal.

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