North East Connected

Redmarshall Development allowed following appeal

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 15.45.09A VILLAGE development proposal is set to go ahead after planning consultants secured permission following an appeal.

Darlington-based Prism Planning lodged the appeal for the proposed development within the grounds of a nursing home after Stockton Council failed to determine the application within the required timescale.

The outline planning application, for a development of four four-to-five-bedroom family homes, within the grounds of The Mains Nursing Home in Redmarshall, was the subject of considerable discussion and negotiation between Prism Planning and Stockton Council, as well as with the local community and statutory stakeholders. The final proposal took on board concerns about the number of proposed houses and their proximity to water mains, and landscaping, and was revised to meet the requests and advice from Stockton Council.

Despite this, planning officers advised that the application would be heading towards refusal. In an effort to save time for their client, Prism Planning submitted its appeal.

Rod Hepplewhite, Director of Prism Planning, said: “We set out to work with planning officers from the outset, and worked closely with them to revise plans in accordance with officer advice and requests, so it was galling to see the application heading towards a refusal.

“Incredibly, the reason for the recommendation to refuse was based on the site being in an unsustainable location, with limited services and provisions, and requiring occupants to travel to employment, education, retail and recreational uses. Our argument was to the contrary; and that Redmarshall and nearby Carlton should be considered as one settlement when determining planning applications.”

Planning Inspector Paul Singleton visited the site last month, and in his narrative report identified the main issue as being “whether the proposal would constitute sustainable development having regard to the accessibility which future occupiers of the proposed dwellings would have to employment opportunities and essential services”.

Allowing the appeal, Mr Singleton explored the proximity of Redmarshall to Carlton – just 400 metres – and found that the available services within both villages was acceptable, and that the council’s assessment of the sustainability of the village was too narrow and did not have proper regard to the guidance within the National Planning Policy Framework which states that where there are groups of smaller settlements, development in one village may support services in a village nearby.

Mr Hepplewhite added: “During our pre-application discussions it had become clear that the council had a closed mind to our arguments; submitting the appeal was the only sensible option.

“We were delighted that the Planning Inspector accepted the strength of our case to the extent that he agreed with us on every relevant planning issue. Of particular note was that he agreed with us that Redmarshall and Carlton should be considered as a single entity for planning purposes.”

Work will now commence to develop the details of the proposal, all of which were reserved with the exception of access arrangements.

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