Developer wins appeal for homes on land used for grazing horses

The site from Ovingdean Road and The Vale from the developer's Design and Access Statement SUS-180307-121419001
The site from Ovingdean Road and The Vale from the developer's Design and Access Statement SUS-180307-121419001

A plan for homes in Ovingdean were approved at appeal after initially being turned down by Brighton and Hove City Council.

Lightwood Strategic’s plans for 45 homes were refused by Brighton and Hove City Council in May last year, but it was approved at appeal.

Cllr Julie Cattell, chair of the planning committee on Brightno and Hove City Council

Cllr Julie Cattell, chair of the planning committee on Brightno and Hove City Council

The site, to the south of Ovingdean Road, is currently used for grazing horses.

The appeal was heard from April 24 to 27 and the decision published on Thursday (June 26).

In the appeal decision report, the planning inspector said the site would deliver much-needed affordable and market housing, and concerns over ecology and biodiversity at the site had been addressed by the developer.

Lesley Coffey, the planning inspector for the case, said: “The council is unable to demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land... I conclude that the adverse impacts of the proposal do not significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in the Framework taken as a whole and therefore planning permission should be granted.”

Brighton and Hove City Council withdrew two of its four reasons for refusal before the appeal, which included the effect of the plans on the gap between Ovingdean and Rottingdean and the impact on the Rottingdean Air Quality Management Area.

A previous appeal for 85 homes at the site was dismissed at appeal in March 2016.

Cllr Julie Cattell, chair of the council’s planning committee, said: “The Planning Inspectorate is independent of the council and we have to abide by its decisions.

“I think this decision makes it clear that the Planning Inspectorate expects a certain amount of controlled development to happen on our urban fringes.

“I fully understand that feelings run high about developments on our urban fringe, and I’m sorry for any residents who feel badly affected by this.

“There is massive housing need locally and nationally. With this in mind we have identified a number of sites where appropriate development might be acceptable.

“This is one of those sites. Identifying these sites will help protect other sites where we believe development is not acceptable.

“We scored a major victory at this site in March 2016 when we successfully rejected a plan for 85 dwellings.

“At that time the Planning Inspectorate agreed with our refusal, but made it clear that in their eyes a smaller development at the site might be acceptable.

“In rejecting an application for costs against us the Planning Inspectorate has made it clear that it considers the actions we have taken in relation to this application to have been reasonable.”

An application by the developer for the council to pay its costs was refused.

To view the appeal decision under the reference APP/Q1445/W/17/3177606, visit: acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk

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