Appeal Decision

Inquiry held on 26, 27 & 28 November 2008 Site visit made on 28 November 2008

The Planning Inspectorate 4/11 Eagle Wing Temple Quay House 2 The Square Temple Quay Bristol BS1 6PN 0117 372 6372 email:enquiries@pins.gsi.g Decision date: 20 January 2009

by Karen L Ridge


an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Appeal Ref: APP/Z4310/A/08/2079502 Bellefield Training Ground, land off Sandforth Road, Liverpool and nos. 88, 90, 92 and 94 Sandforth Road, Liverpool L12 1LW
• • • • The appeal is made under section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 against a refusal to grant planning permission. The appeal is made by The Everton Football Club Company Limited against the decision of Liverpool City Council. The application Ref. 07F/2301, dated 6 August 2007, was refused by notice dated 11 June 2008. The development proposed is a residential development to form 74 dwellings, formation of access onto Sandforth Road and associated works (including the demolition of numbers 88, 90, 92 and 94 Sandforth Road and structures associated with the former training facility).

Procedural matters 1. At the Inquiry an application for costs was made by The Everton Football Club Company Limited (the football club) against Liverpool City Council. This application is the subject of a separate Decision. 2. The planning application which led to this appeal was submitted by the football club and David Wilson Homes North West. Following the refusal of planning permission this appeal was brought by the football club and therefore in this Decision Letter all references to the appellants are to the football club alone. 3. During the course of the Inquiry the main parties confirmed that the application plans listed in Annex A at the end of this decision letter comprise the submitted plans on which the appeal should be determined. A Statement of Common Ground was also agreed between the main parties and submitted in relation to various matters. 4. An executed Unilateral Undertaking, made under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (the s106 agreement), has been submitted by the appellants to the Inquiry. The s106 agreement contains an obligation relating to the payment of £100,000 for the provision or improvement of off-site open space, together with a promise to use the monetary proceeds of the sale of the appeal site towards the provision of a new stadium or, if no stadium is forthcoming, then a promise to apply the monies to the appellants existing stadium. I have taken its contents into account in determining this appeal. Decision 5. I dismiss the appeal.

Appeal Decision APP/Z4310/A/08/2079502

Main issues 6. Having regard to the evidence I have heard and read, I consider that there are two main issues in this case, namely; (i) the effect of the proposal on the residential amenity of surrounding residents having regard to increased traffic movements; and (ii) the acceptability of the proposed residential development having regard to: (a) loss of green space, (b) housing land supply matters and (c) its effect on the Housing Market Renewal Initiative. Reasons
The effect of the proposal on the living conditions of nearby residents having regard to increased traffic

7. The appeal site is a rectangular shaped piece of land of some 3.6 hectares, located in a predominantly residential area approximately 6 km from Liverpool City Centre. The site is bounded on three sides by the rear gardens of houses on Sandforth Road, Bellefield Avenue and Eaton Road with a remaining boundary onto North Drive. Access to the site is gained via a track between two pairs of semi-detached houses on Sandforth Road. The appeal proposal would have an enlarged access resulting from the demolition of two pairs of semi-detached houses on the Sandforth Road frontage. 8. In relation to this issue, the Council confirms that its objection is based on what it sees as the resultant harm to residential amenity which would arise from increased traffic generated by the proposal. It confirms that as far as it is concerned there are no unresolved technical transport or highway matters associated with the proposals. Policy H5 of the Liverpool Unitary Development Plan (UDP)1 sets out criteria to be applied to proposals for new residential development, including requirements to maintain levels of amenity for existing and future residents as well as ensuring a safe, convenient and nuisance-free environment for all users. I have noted the concerns of local residents in relation to highway safety matters and I shall deal with these matters later in this Decision Letter. 9. The appellants’ highways engineer, Mr Dmoch, used the Institute of Environmental Assessment Guidelines to assess the effect of the additional traffic. Whilst the guidelines are primarily directed at major new developments, I note that they provide that there would have to be a doubling of traffic to be a perceptible noise impact. This gives some indication as to the point at which increasing traffic levels begin to affect noise levels. 10. If figures for the previous trip generation of the training facility are ignored, there would be an increase in the order of some 39% of the total two-way traffic flow along Sandforth Road. Given that the appellants’ figures utilised the upper end of estimates I am satisfied that the predicted vehicle movements represent a robust depiction of likely trip generation. The additional traffic would be of a similar nature to that which already uses the road. Mr Dmoch
1 Whilst the UDP was adopted in 2002, all of the UDP policies referred to in this decision letter were the subject of a saving direction made under paragraph 1(3) of Schedule 8 to the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.


Appeal Decision APP/Z4310/A/08/2079502

further confirms that there is sufficient capacity to accommodate the additional traffic both on Sandforth Road and within the local highway network. 11. Councillor Irving gave evidence in support of the Council’s decision. He said that increased traffic movement along Sandforth Road would be detrimental to the residential amenity of residents along the road but he did not specify the way in which such amenity would be harmed or produce any evidence in relation to such harm. I do not regard it as sufficient to contend that residential amenity will be harmed but then fail to particularise the resultant harm alleged. Without such details it is difficult to ascertain the exact nature of the Council’s objection. 12. In any event, there is nothing to contradict the evidence of Mr Dmoch that the additional traffic generated by the proposal would not result in a material impact on the living conditions of existing residents given the predicted levels and composition of the additional vehicles as well as the nature of the surrounding roads in terms of existing capacity and speed levels. I therefore conclude that there is nothing to suggest that the proposal would have a detrimental effect on the living conditions of surrounding residents by virtue of the increased traffic movements. In this respect the proposal would be in conformity with UDP policy H5.
The principle of residential development

13. The site was previously a training ground for the football club but it is no longer in use following the completion of a new facility elsewhere. The main parties are agreed that some 83% of the appeal site comprises outside sports pitches with the remaining 17% made up of the access road, two pairs of semidetached houses and other buildings and hardstanding associated with the training facility use. Therefore whilst some of the site consists of previously developed land, a much larger part comprises undeveloped land. 14. The site lies some 0.5km away from West Derby village, a local centre containing a range of shops, community facilities and commercial uses. The surrounding area is well-served by playing fields and a number of primary and secondary schools are located within a reasonable distance of the site. The appeal site is also within walking distance of bus stops on the routes of a range of regular bus services. Taking all of these factors into account, I conclude that the site is in a sustainable location.
Development plan policies

15. The development plan comprises the Regional Spatial Strategy for the North West (RSS) and saved policies from the UDP. The RSS was published in September 2008 and sets out a strategic vision for development and investment in the North West region over the next 15 to 20 years. Strategic policies DP1, DP2 and DP4 of the RSS emphasise the need to promote sustainable communities and to make the best use of existing resources whilst policy DP4 sets out a sequential approach to land use. I acknowledge that the site would not sit wholly within the first or second categories of policy DP4 given that it contains elements of both developed and undeveloped land. However, since a large part of it comprises land which has not previously been developed I consider that the site is more appropriately deemed to be in the second category of DP4.


Appeal Decision APP/Z4310/A/08/2079502

16. RSS Policy RDF1, described as a cornerstone of the RSS, ranks the priority areas for growth in the region with the regional centres, Liverpool and Manchester, ranking as first priority areas. Policy L4 sets out the housing land requirements across the region for 2003-2021 as well as targets for development on previously developed land. The Council is comfortably exceeding its target of 90% of new development on brownfield land. I acknowledge that it is implicit that the target anticipates some development on greenfield land and that the appeal proposal would not undermine this target. 17. L3 explains the need for authorities to understand and manage housing markets and stocks. Policies LCR1, LCR2 and LCR3 are specific to the Liverpool City Region and seek to promote policies and strategies which will direct economic and other development to appropriate locations, whilst improving the quality and choice of housing and complementing Housing Market Renewal Initiative (HMRI) objectives. 18. UDP policy H1 sets out the Council’s commitment to make provision for additional dwellings, although the dwelling figure within the policy predates the latest RSS figures. Policies H2 and H3 are geared towards regenerating housing stock in the City. Policy H4 confirms that within ‘primarily residential areas’, such as the appeal site location, planning permission will be granted for new housing development which satisfies other UDP policies. Guiding principles for new residential development are set out in policy H5. There is a general statement of support within policy C7 for development proposals of the City’s football clubs which are in accordance with other UDP policies.
(a) The loss of playing pitches/green space

19. Within the UDP the appeal site is allocated as green space. Saved policy OE11 of the UDP seeks to protect green space and any proposal must be assessed against, and be shown not to harm, four criteria. Whilst the development would remove the recreational function of the green space (criterion i), the site does not lie in an area of open space deficiency and a replacement facility has already been provided, so two of the four possible exceptions are met. Given the enclosed nature of the site, the green space provides only a limited contribution to the visual amenity of the surrounding area by virtue of the trees lining the North Drive boundary. Under the terms of the proposal these trees would be retained and indeed would be more visible due to the removal of the 3m high boundary wall along North Drive, thus meeting criterion (ii) requirements. 20. In relation to OE11 criterion (iii); due to the private use of the facilities, as well as the enclosed nature of the site, I do not consider that there is a link (be it either visual or functional) between the appeal site and nearby areas of public open space. Finally, with regard to criterion (iv) I have not seen any evidence to suggest that the site makes an important contribution in terms of nature conservation issues. The Council’s Conservation and Environment Officer confirms that there are no bats on the site and he does not raise any objection to the proposal. For all of these reasons I conclude that the proposal would not be materially harmful to the objectives of policy OE11. 21. I also conclude that the proposal would be in accordance with national guidance within Planning Policy Guidance 17-Planning for Open Space, Sport


Appeal Decision APP/Z4310/A/08/2079502

and Recreation since replacement facilities have already been provided elsewhere. Both the Council and Sport England have confirmed that they have no objection in principle to the loss of the former training ground on the basis that the s106 agreement would secure the payment of a commuted sum to be utilised for the enhancement of existing public open space. 22. The assessment as to the acceptability in principle of residential development on this site should be made by having regard to relevant development plan policies and all other material considerations. Given my findings above, as well as those in relation to the first issue, I conclude that the proposal would be compliant with all relevant development plan policies outlined above. However, there are other material considerations in this case; including the requirement in Planning Policy Statement 3- Housing (PPS 3) for local planning authorities to identify and maintain a rolling 5 year supply of deliverable land for housing2 and also the matter of whether or not the proposal is in accordance with the Council’s New Housing Development Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) in terms of its effect on the Housing Market Renewal Initiative (HMRI) area.
(b) Housing land supply

23. The current RSS housing land requirement for Liverpool3 is for 35,100 homes (net of clearance) over the plan period 2003-2021. This equates to an average annual rate of provision (a.a.r.p) of 1,950 dwellings. The Council contends that it can demonstrate a 5 year housing land supply as against current RSS targets by reference to high levels of housing completions and high stocks of extant planning permissions. 24. The most up to date information is contained within the Council’s Housing Supply Monitoring Report 2007 which shows total completions to the 1 April 20074 as well as an identified housing supply. As at 1 April 2008 there are extant planning permissions relating to over 22,000 dwellings, some 2,893 dwellings over the 5 year requirement. In its assessment as to the deliverability of these sites the Council has followed government advice5 in identifying the sites which are available and suitable. I agree that sites with planning permission can reasonably be assumed to be available and suitable and I accept the Council’s explanation that the smaller element of the supply, namely the 16 sites without planning permission, are suitable in policy terms and are sufficiently well progressed through the planning process to warrant inclusion. 25. The main area of contention between the parties is in relation to the achievability of the identified supply. A large stock of extant planning permissions does not necessarily equate to a 5 year housing land supply since it is necessary to look at the prospects of housing being delivered within the requisite 5 year timeframe. To this end the Council has broken down the various components of the land supply figure, using information to hand on
Paragraph 7, PPS3. RSS policy L4. 4 More up to date information on net completions for the year 2007/08 was provided to the Inquiry, showing that completions for this year were below the a.a.r.p of 1,950. This relatively small deficit would be carried over to the remaining plan period in any future calculations resulting in a small upward adjustment of the a.a.r.p necessarily to meet the RSS target over the plan period. 5 Department of Communities and Local Government Note, ‘PPS 3 Demonstrating a 5 year supply of deliverable sites’ 11 April 2007.
3 2


Appeal Decision APP/Z4310/A/08/2079502

sites currently under construction and, where possible, it has enquired as to developer’s intentions. Where this has not been possible the Council has used recent data on delivery profiles to extrapolate the rate of delivery in a 5 year period. 26. The appellants contend that the Council’s stocks of planning permissions are skewed towards smaller properties and flatted developments which will only serve to exacerbate the existing imbalance in housing provision. They point to the Council’s estimate that at least 70% of the supply set out in the Housing Monitoring Report is for flatted schemes, whereas the recent Fordham Housing Needs Study reveals that some 48% of newly forming households expect a flat6. The appellants question the deliverability of the sites with planning permissions given what they say is a mismatch between the housing for which permission has been granted and that which the market wants. 27. The Fordham study revealed that whilst the greatest shortfall in the market sector is in relation to 3 bedroom houses, there are also notable shortfalls of all other sizes. The proposal would assist in providing 4, 5 and 6 bedroom houses which fall into the 4+ bedroom category which exhibits a shortfall of some 20% of the total shortfall in the market housing category. This is more than the shortfall for 1 bedroom dwellings (12%), similar to the shortfall for two bedroom dwellings (18%) and significantly less than the shortfall for 3 bedroom dwellings (50%). The shortfall in the market sector represents some 60% of the total housing shortfall and there is a combined shortfall of 40% in relation to intermediate and social rented housing. This dilutes the shortfall of larger market housing (4+ bedrooms) as a proportion of the total shortfall of all housing types across all sectors. 28. The Council already has a significant supply of existing planning permissions and I consider that the assumption that 40% of the total units in a project will be built in the first 5 year period represents a prudent approach. The Council has made an informed judgement, following discussions with developers where possible, and I am satisfied that the Council’s assessment of achievability is robust. Whilst I note the current imbalance in housing types, I am not persuaded that the composition of planning permissions already granted is so out of kilter with what is required as to result in a less than reasonable prospect of those sites in the supply chain being developed. 29. In the context of this appeal neither am I persuaded that the appeal proposal is any more attractive to the market or more likely to be developed than any other of the developments which currently have planning permission and contribute to the 5 year supply. The Council rightly point out that it is the football club rather than a housing developer pursuing this appeal. I note that the only evidence before the Inquiry as to developer interest is in the form of an offer (not a concluded agreement) to the football club which is predicated on a different type of development being substituted for the appeal proposal. 30. The picture is complicated by virtue of the recent change in market conditions with downturns both in the number of housing construction projects being started and the number of new orders for private housing. The views
6 Whilst I note that a lower figure of 34% of households aspire to a flat, I consider that the figure in relation to ‘expectations’ represents a more realistic indicator since it contains an element of affordability.


Appeal Decision APP/Z4310/A/08/2079502

expressed by developers and agents in the Liverpool Vision Development Update7 largely relate to the pricing adjustments in relation to City centre apartments in response to the falling markets. Some doubt is expressed as to whether the 4,500 apartments which could be built under current planning permissions will be constructed. However, the overall impression is one of cautious optimism with sub-regional figures showing resilience and some 2,500 units currently under construction. Whilst recent completions for 2007-08 are in the order of 1,486 units I note that this rate of delivery was in relation to the lower RSS annualised requirement. 31. Paragraph 66 of PPS 3 contains advice in the event of changing market conditions and the possible need to review need and demand across housing market areas and the consideration of a review of approach across the housing market area and/or initiation of a partial review of RSS. The Council is undertaking a Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment due for completion in spring 2009. If the change in market conditions does have an effect on the delivery of housing, it seems to me that such a review is better done comprehensively rather than in the context of an individual planning appeal. 32. In this case the Council has identified a supply of some 13,143 dwellings as at 1 April 2007, as against a 5 year requirement at that date for 10,250 dwellings. This represents a not insignificant surplus. I conclude that the Council has adequately demonstrated these sites to be suitable and available with reasonable prospects of delivery within a 5 year timeframe. Consequently the provisions of paragraph 71 of PPS 3 do not apply.
(c) New Housing Development Supplementary Planning Document

33. In 2003 the HMRI pathfinder programme was announced by central government and a HMRI pathfinder area (‘Newheartlands’) was declared in Liverpool. Given that this took place after the adoption of the aforementioned UDP policies, the Council responded by developing a Supplementary Planning Document entitled ‘New Housing Development’ (SPD). The stated purpose of the SPD was to guide residential development in Liverpool having regard to RSS and HMRI objectives. The SPD confirms that it is a temporary policy tool which will be reviewed to take into account any material change in circumstances and it will be reviewed after 1 or 2 years to see whether it is achieving its stated objectives8. 34. The SPD was adopted in July 2005 following a comprehensive public consultation exercise and the starting point is that it is a material consideration of substantial weight. Since its issue the new RSS and PPS3 have been published and the Council acknowledge that a review of the SPD is due. Whilst the new RSS has increased the requirement for housing provision, its policies remain directed towards urban renewal and are supportive of directing development to the HMRI areas. In all respects material to this appeal the SPD is therefore in conformity with the new RSS as well as adopted UDP policies. To the extent that any review of the SPD will need to take account of the additional housing figures as well as the advice within PPS 3 on land

7 8

Appendix 3 of Paul Williams Rebuttal proof. Paragraph 1.9 SPD.


Appeal Decision APP/Z4310/A/08/2079502

supply, I agree with the Inspector in the Hazeldale Road appeal9 that the substantial weight attributed to the SPD is only slightly reduced by such matters. 35. Policy statement H6 of the SPD sets out the circumstances in which housing outside the HMRI area and strategic sites will be allowed. It provides that such residential development must result in a demonstrable regeneration benefit, it must not undermine the HMRI Zones of Opportunity and the HMRI as a whole and it must be compliant with development policies as well as Policy Statements H1, H2 and H7 of the SPD. 36. Demonstrable regeneration benefits: in this regard the appellants rely primarily on the regenerative benefits which would flow from the appeal site monies being applied towards the provision of a new stadium as part of a major mixed use scheme in Kirkby (‘Project Kirkby’), or alternatively from the development of a stadium elsewhere or as a result of the refurbishment of the existing ground. The options are listed in the alternative because the Project Kirkby proposal is subject to a called-in appeal which is currently underway but not yet finally determined. 37. It is established case law that enabling development is capable of being a material consideration. Whilst the situation in this appeal is somewhat analogous to that of enabling development, to my mind the question to be asked is; would the proposal deliver a demonstrable regeneration benefit as required by policy statement H6. 38. I shall consider each of the three scenarios in the s106 agreement in turn. Firstly there is no dispute that Project Kirkby, if it proceeds, would deliver significant regeneration benefits for the Kirkby area and its wider environs. There is a full report detailing resultant job creation and net benefits of the scheme which the Council accepts. The Council point out that the SPD must logically envisage that regeneration benefits would arise within its own district. Whilst I have some sympathy with this general proposition I consider that it is a matter of fact and degree in each case. Here, Project Kirkby is in a different administrative district about one mile away from the appeal site. On balance, having regard to the likely scale and wide ranging nature of the benefits of Project Kirkby, I consider that it is sufficiently proximate to the appeal site and to the administrative district of the Council such that some of these benefits would be enjoyed within, and by the people of, Liverpool. 39. The difficulty arises in relation to the degree of connection and level of reliance which Project Kirkby places on the monies which could be realised by the sale of the appeal site. Again, it is not in dispute that if planning permission were granted for residential development on the appeal site then its projected value, at some £8million10, would be significantly enhanced. Mr Jones, of the appellants’ accountancy firm, confirmed that the football club’s contribution to the cost of the new stadium at Kirkby is in the region of £78million and that the sale proceeds of the appeal site could potentially represent a 10% contribution towards these costs. His evidence to the Inquiry was that if the current appeal failed then this would not prohibit the financing of the new stadium nor make it


Reference APP/Z4310/A/07/2050169. David Gwyn letter of 27 October 2008.


Appeal Decision APP/Z4310/A/08/2079502

unviable but it would make the funding of the new stadium significantly more challenging. 40. Mr Jones confirmed that if the proceeds from the appeal site were secured then the funding package for the new stadium would be guaranteed. However, he could not confirm that the converse was true; namely that without the sale proceeds of the appeal site the new stadium venture would be rendered financially unviable. Instead he said it would make funding significantly more challenging. This is materially different to the situation in the Monahan case11 where there was comprehensive evidence to prove that but for the enabling development the improvements to the Royal Opera House would not be secured. 41. In order for the current appeal scheme to claim credit for part of the regenerative benefits of Project Kirkby I consider that there must be firm evidence of a financial cross-subsidy which is necessary to preserve the viability of the scheme delivering the benefits. I consider this approach to be in accordance with the legal authorities which both parties have referred me to. I conclude that there is no firm evidence of a clear reliance on the appeal scheme by Project Kirkby or indeed certainty as to whether that project will proceed. The sale proceeds of the appeal site would represent a one tenth contribution to the new stadium. As a matter of fact and degree I consider that the relationship between the appeal scheme and Project Kirkby is too tenuous to enable the appeal scheme to claim that it would deliver regenerative benefits via the larger scheme. 42. The position in relation to the further two scenarios is weaker still, in the case of an unknown stadium it is not possible to assess any geographical connection between the stadium and the current appeal site and any financial dependency on the appeal site proceeds cannot be demonstrated. Finally, I have little evidence before me as to the regeneration benefits which might accrue if the existing stadium were to be refurbished and I have not seen any suggestion that refurbishment would be dependant on monies being realised from the sale of the training ground. As a matter of fact and degree, there is an insufficient relationship between the appeal scheme and the benefits that might flow from Project Kirkby, a new stadium or the refurbishment of the existing stadium to conclude that the appeal proposal has demonstrated that it would deliver the regeneration benefits claimed. 43. Finally, the appellants make reference to the provision of executive housing providing regeneration benefits by retaining higher earning residents. I have already referred to the shortfall in larger family market housing in Liverpool; it forms a limited proportion of the shortfall across all sectors. I am not persuaded that, in this context, the provision of large family homes represents demonstrable regeneration benefits of the type or order envisaged by SPD Policy Statement H6. 44. Does the proposal undermine the HMRI Zones of Opportunity and HMRI as a whole?: In relation to this matter there is specific guidance in the explanatory text of the SPD12 which provides that the types of development
11 12

R v Westminster City Council, ex parte Monahan and another [1989] 1 PLR 36. Paragraph 6.4


Appeal Decision APP/Z4310/A/08/2079502

unlikely to undermine the HMRI may include, high value homes of an appropriate density where a need for such residential development has been identified and where suitable sites are not available within the HMRI or the strategic housing sites. The text goes on to explain the underlying rationale to be that of ensuring housing choice and well balanced provision throughout the City. 45. One of the Council’s stated aims within its Housing Strategy Statement is to increase the quantity of larger homes in higher tax bands. The appeal proposal would make a contribution in this respect as well as contributing to the identified shortfall in this category. However, whilst I note that the current supply of planning permissions largely relate to apartments and 2/3 bedroom terraced housing, there is no information before me to suggest that larger family homes could not be included on sites within the HMRI or strategic housing sites. The appellants’ planning witness acknowledges that ‘Larger family houses are only likely to form part of the later phases of the regeneration proposals of the HMRI areas’13 which would seem to indicate that suitable sites are available within the HMRI for such housing. 46. If planning permission were granted on the appeal site there is no indication as to a completion date of the housing proposed as advised in paragraph 6.5 of the SPD. The appellants planning witness confirmed that a start on site could be two years following any agreement with a developer. Such an agreement has not been concluded; indeed the only offer appears to relate to a different form of development on the appeal site. Given the difference in pricing between current properties available within the HMRI and the anticipated prices of the proposed houses, I accept that if the appeal site properties were available now they would not be competing for the same purchasers. However there is no clear indication before me as to any likely delivery date in relation to the larger houses and therefore there can be no guarantee that the appeal site would not be competing at a future date with similar properties within the HMRI. 47. In these circumstances I am not satisfied that the appellants have demonstrated that the appeal proposal would not undermine the HMRI area as a whole. To complete the picture, I have already concluded that there are no UDP policies which preclude development on the site and I consider that the proposal would broadly be in conformity with Policy Statements H1, H2 and H7 of the SPD as demanded by H6. Conclusions on the principle of development 48. The appeal proposal represents residential development on predominantly greenfield land in a sustainable location. Whilst it is in accordance with UDP policies, it is contrary to the Council’s SPD to which I attach considerable weight. The clear policy thrust of the SPD is to direct housing to the inner areas or HMRI, optimising regeneration in these areas. For this to be effective and HMRI delivery to be safeguarded housing development outside such areas needs to be properly controlled.


Paul Williams proof of evidence, paragraph 7.199


Appeal Decision APP/Z4310/A/08/2079502

49. Policy Statement H6 allows residential development outside the HMRI where it would provide demonstrable regeneration benefits and would not undermine the HMRI as a whole. I have concluded that the appeal proposal would not provide the demonstrable regeneration benefits demanded and further, I am not satisfied that it would not undermine the delivery of the HMRI as a whole. 50. In the context of housing land supply in excess of 5 years, it remains important that new housing development is appropriately directed. The Council’s SPD supplies the finer policy details and is a material consideration of significant weight (albeit slightly reduced). Taking all the above matters into consideration I conclude that to allow the development of a greenfield site, albeit in a sustainable location, outside the HMRI which cannot demonstrate significant regeneration benefits would be harmful to the policy objectives of seeking to secure the successful regeneration of the HMRI area. 51. Whilst I have been referred to a number of other appeal decisions in relation to this issue, there are different factors at play in these decisions and of course, each appeal must be dealt with on its own merits. In any event I consider that the approach which I have taken is broadly consistent with the Inspectors in these previous decisions. For all of these reasons I conclude that the principle of residential development on the appeal site is unacceptable. Other matters 52. In addition, there have been a number of objections by local residents, as well as by Councillor Irving in his capacity as ward councillor, concerned about the traffic situation and highway safety as well as the ability of the local highway network in the immediate vicinity of the site to cope with additional traffic. Sandforth Road is a local distributor road between the A5058 to the west and Eaton Road to the east. The road has a pronounced kink just beyond the Bellefield Avenue junction and has been subject to traffic calming along part of its length. There are no parking restrictions along Sandforth Road in the vicinity of the appeal site. On my site visit conducted during the morning peak period, there were a handful of vehicles parked along the southern side of Sandforth Road in front of houses. 53. In answer to residents’ concerns about the timing of the traffic surveys, the appellants’ engineer confirmed that they were done during school term-time and he had made specific enquiries of the Council in this regard. I have already referred to the 39% increase in 2-way traffic flow if the proposal were to proceed. Mr Glover, a local resident, gave evidence about a number of accidents on Sandforth Road in recent years but these predate the traffic calming measures introduced in 2007. There is no evidence to contradict Mr Dmoch’s conclusion that the additional traffic could not be satisfactorily accommodated on the local road network without any material harm to highway and pedestrian safety. I therefore conclude that the proposal would be in accordance with UDP policy H5 in this regard. 54. Whilst the site comprises a small part of the former grounds of Bellefield House, the association has long gone and I do not regard the site as having any intrinsic historic interest as to warrant it being saved from redevelopment. If this appeal fails the appellants contend that the site will remain vacant until an alternative use can be found. However the site does not detract from the


Appeal Decision APP/Z4310/A/08/2079502

visual appearance of the surrounding area such that there would be a benefit from its early redevelopment. 55. Ms Gersten, on behalf of the Save our City Campaign, partly bases her objections on the loss of two pairs of semi-detached dwellings. However, I do not consider that the break in the line of semi-detached houses to form an entrance to the development as well as the insertion of two new detached dwellings would be so out of character as to be materially harmful to the existing streetscene. Overall conclusions 56. Whilst I have found in favour of the appellants on the first issue, my conclusion in relation to the second issue remains by itself, a compelling reason to dismiss the appeal.

Karen L Ridge


Appeal Decision APP/Z4310/A/08/2079502

BA(Hons) MA PhD

Of Counsel. Instructed by Ms C Adan, Solicitor to the Council. Principal Planning Officer, Development Plans, Liverpool City Council, Millennium House, Victoria Street, Liverpool L2 2DH. Ward Councillor, Liverpool City Council, Millennium House, Victoria Street, Liverpool L2 2DH. Director, GL Hearn Property Consultants, 20 Soho Square, London W1D 3QW.

Councillor David Irving

Mr David Phillips

FOR THE APPELLANTS: Miss Frances Patterson She called Mr Andrew Dmoch
BA(Hons) Dip. Trans Plg

Of Queens Counsel. Instructed by Savills Property Consultants.

Regional Manager, Mayer Brown Limited, Transportation, Traffic and Highways Consultants, Unit 7, Acorn Business Park, Leeds LS14 6UF. Partner, Deloitte & Touche LLP, Hardman Street, Manchester M60 2AT. Savills Property Consultants, 12 Windsor Place, Cardiff CF10 3BY.

Mr Dan Jones

Mr Paul Williams

INTERESTED PERSONS: Mr David Glover Mr Andrew Richardson Ms Florence Gersten Mr Stephen Twigg Local resident, 76 Sandforth Road, Liverpool L12 1LW. Deputy Chairman, West Derby Society, 279 Eaton Road, Liverpool L12 2AG. The Save our City Campaign, 5 Orford Street, Wavertree, Liverpool L15 8HX. West Derby Parliamentary Candidate, 2 Dovecot Cottages, 29 Thingwall Lane, Liverpool L14 7QS.


Appeal Decision APP/Z4310/A/08/2079502

DOCUMENTS 1 Letter of notification of the Inquiry and list of persons notified, submitted by the Council. 2 Rebuttal proof of evidence of Paul Williams, submitted by the appellants. 3 Opening submissions on behalf of Everton Football Club. 4 Liverpool City Council Housing Needs Assessment Final Draft, October 2007, submitted by the Council. 5 R-v-Wigan MBC and Greenbank Partnerships Limited ex parte Hampson QBD [2005] EWHC 1656 (Admin), submitted by the appellants. 6 Northumberland County Council v Secretary of State for the Environment and British Coal Corporation (1990) 59 P. & CR 468, submitted by the appellants. 7 Statement of Common Ground, submitted by the Council and appellants. 8 Email confirmation of display of site notice and accompanying photographs, submitted by the appellants. 9 Statement of The Save our City Campaign, submitted by Miss Gersten. 10 Appeal decision Bethel Chapel ref. APP/Z4310/A/04/1164174, submitted by the Council. 11 Appeal decision Blue Lands South, ref. APP/Z4310/A/04/1168855, submitted by the Council. 12 Letter Jones Homes to Williams Estate Management dated 6 November 2008, submitted by the appellants. 13 Proof of evidence of Mr Michael Burchnall to Planning Public Inquiry ref. APP/V4305/V/08/1203375, submitted by the appellants. 14 Certified copy unilateral undertaking executed 26 November 2008, submitted by the appellants. 15 Summary proof of evidence of Mr Dan Jones, submitted by the appellants. 16 Extract of Planning Encyclopedia pp. 2-3277 to 2-3280, submitted by the Council. 17 R-v-Westminster City Council, ex parte Monahan and others (1989) 1 PLR 36, submitted by the Council. 18 Closing submissions on behalf of the Council. 19 Closing submissions on behalf of Everton Football Club. 20 Office copy entries in relation to the appeal site (title numbers MS377268, MS130871, LA17955, MS130274, MS453109, MS453109, MS37960), submitted by the appellants.


Appeal Decision APP/Z4310/A/08/2079502

ANNEX A- APPLICATION PLANS Location Plan Topographical Survey- S2196/01 Materials Layout- 7085/02 Landscape Layout- 745/01 Revision A P534B-4 Planning Drawing P406B-4 Planning Drawing P536B-4 Planning Drawing H454R-4 Planning Drawing H454-4 Planning Drawing H411-4 Planning Drawing H459-4 Planning Drawing H421B-4 Planning Drawing H464B-4 Planning Drawing H502B-4 Planning Drawing H602B-4 Planning Drawing H597B-4 Planning Drawing H497B-4 Planning Drawing Garage Drawing G1A Revision A Garage Drawing G2E Revision A Garage Drawing G2F Revision A Garage Drawing G4E Revision A Garage Drawing G4F Revision A 1800 Brick Pier Wall, EXTWKS16, Revision * 1800 Close Boarded Timber Fence, EXTWKS07, Revision * 1200 Metal Railing, EXTWKS 03, Revision * Section Plans 7085-SEC/01 revision C, 7085-SEC/02 and 7085-SEC03 Plan reference 7085-01 Revision H (Revised Planning Layout)


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful