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Appeal Decision

Site visit made on 10 February 2015


by Andrew Dawe

BSc(Hons) MSc MPhil MRTPI

an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Decision date: 23 March 2015

Appeal Ref: APP/D0840/A/14/2216991


Land Parcel 1337, Chenhalls Road, St. Erth, Cornwall

The appeal is made under section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990
against a refusal to grant outline planning permission.
The appeal is made by Mr William Trevorrow against the decision of Cornwall Council.
The application Ref PA13/09686, dated 22 October 2013, was refused by notice dated
12 March 2014.
The development proposed is construction of 10 new dwellings, access road, parking
and creation of new access to a highway.

Decision
1. The appeal is allowed and planning permission is granted for construction of 10
new dwellings, access road, parking and creation of new access to a highway at
Land Parcel 1337, Chenhalls Road, St. Erth, Cornwall in accordance with the
terms of the application, Ref PA13/09686, dated 22 October 2013, subject to
the conditions in the attached Annex.
Procedural Matters
2. The application was submitted in outline, with only access to be determined at
this stage with all other matters reserved for future consideration. I have dealt
with the appeal on that basis.
3. The description of development in my fourth bullet point of the above header is
not that on the original planning application form which states that it is for
construction of new access to highway to serve new development. As the
proposal is for the housing scheme, the description in the above header more
accurately describes it and is the wording recorded by the appellant on the
Planning Appeal Form and used by the Council on its decision notice. I have
therefore determined the appeal on the basis of that description.
4. The proposed site plan originally submitted with the appeal, Ref 1759-P03
revision C, incorrectly showed 6 affordable units and 4 open market units which
contradicted the written submissions. An amended plan,
Ref 1759-P03 revision D, has subsequently been submitted to address this
showing 7 affordable units and 3 open market units. This plan has not been the
subject of consultation. However, the Council has not raised any further
comments following receipt of it. Furthermore, as it relates to written evidence
that all parties, including local residents, have had the opportunity to comment
on, and that the layout is not significantly different, no party would be

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Appeal Decision APP/D0840/A/14/2216991

prejudiced by the consideration of this plan for the purposes of the appeal. I
have therefore determined the appeal on that basis.
5. The site plan is not marked as illustrative and shows the proposed access.
Although layout is reserved for future consideration, that plan shows an
indicative layout of the proposed buildings, and that the affordable units would
be 2-bedroom dwellings and the open market units 3-bedroomed. Floor plans
have also been submitted to indicate the internal layouts of the respective
house types which further demonstrate that the dwellings would be 2-storey
height. I have therefore taken the content of all of these plans into
consideration in determining the appeal.
6. The site was the subject of two previous proposals which were both dismissed
on appeal, one for 20 affordable dwellings1 and the other for 10 affordable
houses2. These are therefore material considerations although I have
determined the appeal on its merits based on current circumstances.
Main Issues
7. The main issues are whether the proposal would meet the identified local
housing need in perpetuity in order to justify the development in terms of it
being an exception site on the edge of St Erth and the effect of the proposed
development on the character and appearance of the area.
Reasons
Main issues
8. The proposed development would be on a site outside but on the edge of the
village of St Erth. Policy H15 of the Penwith Local Plan (the Local Plan)
supports proposals which make provision for identified affordable housing need
in such locations. This is consistent with paragraph 54 of the National Planning
Policy Framework (the Framework) which is supportive of affordable housing on
rural exception sites where there is a local need, including consideration of
some market housing to facilitate this. In this case, from the substantive
evidence submitted, it is evident that there is an identified need for
intermediate for sale affordable homes and that the need could not be met by
other sites in the area. Although I have received submissions from interested
parties disputing the need and availability of other sites, this is not borne out
by the evidence I have received from the Council.
9. The proposal is for 7 affordable and 3 open market units, the latter required to
enable the affordable units to be delivered, and a viability appraisal has been
undertaken to justify the development in terms of its economic viability. The
appellant has submitted a planning obligation in the form of a Unilateral
Undertaking to ensure that the proposed affordable housing would be provided
as proposed. I am satisfied that this addresses the Councils second reason for
refusal in its decision notice, and the Council has confirmed that to be the case
from its point of view. The obligation would meet the three tests set out in
paragraph 204 of the Framework in that it would be necessary to make the
development acceptable in planning terms; directly related to the
development; and fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the
development.
1
2

Appeal Ref APP/L0825/A/07/2059218


Appeal Ref APP/D0840/A/11/2164966

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Appeal Decision APP/D0840/A/14/2216991

10. The site is currently an agricultural field on the edge of the village. It is
separated from dwellings to the south along Chenhalls Road by a cemetery and
mature vegetation along the mutual boundary. There are existing dwellings
adjacent to the southernmost corner of the site, and also to the south-east
fronting School Lane, whose formal rear gardens are separated from the site by
parcels of generally rough grassland. I understand those parcels are classed as
agricultural land, and in most cases they are not directly connected to the
residential gardens.
11. In the vicinity of the site, Chenhalls Road has a pleasant, open, and verdant
character, including the open field comprising the appeal site and a golf course
and fields on the opposite side of the road, with roadside vegetation being a
contributory factor. Notwithstanding this, the existing nearby residential
properties, particularly those to the south-east of the site, can be glimpsed
through the vegetation and it is evident that the site is in close proximity to the
built up part of the village.
12. Policies GD1 and TV1 of the Local Plan together require development to be
integrated with its surroundings in terms of scale, siting and design and be in
keeping with the character of the district; and that proposed development on
the edge of a settlement should be well integrated into the form of the
settlement and be of a scale and design which is in keeping with the character
of the settlement.
13. The proposed development would encroach into the existing open character of
this edge of village location to a degree particularly as, for the most part, it
would not be bordered by existing residential properties and so would appear
slightly segregated. However, it would not be isolated from the village and the
proposals demonstrate that clear pedestrian connections would be provided to
the village via proposed footpaths linking to Chenhalls Road and School Lane. .
14. The formation of the proposed vehicular access and visibility splay would
interrupt the general undeveloped nature of this section of the road and the
line of the existing hedgerow. However, it is proposed to reconstruct a new
stone boundary hedge, with planting behind that, behind the visibility splay
which would soften the appearance of the development.
15. Furthermore, the buildings themselves, being proposed to be positioned
adjacent to the south-west site boundary of the existing field, and set away
from Chenhalls Road, would not dominate the open and verdant character of
that road, particularly as they would also be softened to a degree by the above
planting. The proposed site plan also shows space for other planting along the
north-east, south-east and south-west sides of the site which would have a
further softening effect.
16. Some concern has been raised in terms of the merging of St Erth and Hayle.
However, given the fairly small scale of the proposed development and its
proximity to the village, it would not significantly affect the existing separation
and integrity of those two settlements.
17. Light pollution from the development would be unlikely to be significant due to
its relatively small scale, although without control over external lighting on the
site, this could draw excessive attention to the development in the edge of
village location. Acceptable street lighting could be reasonably secured and
controlled by condition.
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Appeal Decision APP/D0840/A/14/2216991

18. Therefore, the proposed development would not cause sufficient harm to the
character and appearance of the area so as to outweigh the benefit of the
development in providing needed affordable housing.
19. Whilst concern has been raised about the proposed development creating a
precedent for further development on the edge of the village, any future
proposals would have to be treated on their merits, as I have done in this case.
20. For the above reasons, the proposed development would meet the identified
local housing need in perpetuity in order to justify the development in terms of
it being an exception site on the edge of St Erth, without causing unacceptable
harm to the character and appearance of the area. As such, it would accord
with Policy H15 of the Local Plan and paragraph 54 of the Framework and
would not be at odds with Policies GD1 and TV1 of the Local Plan.
Other matters
21. I have had regard to concerns raised about highway and pedestrian safety on
Chenhalls Road. However, I am satisfied that, subject to the provision of the
proposed visibility splays and footway, the development would be unlikely to
pose a risk in this respect. With regard to proposed parking provision, the
Councils submissions suggest that more could be required than is shown on
the proposed site plan. However, notwithstanding the indicated provision, that
plan shows that there would be space on the site for additional parking if
necessary. This would be dealt with in detail at the reserved matters stage.
22. Concern has also been raised about flooding on the road and the increased risk
of flooding resulting from the proposed development. However, I have
received no substantive evidence to suggest that the proposed development
would exacerbate any existing problems, and adequate surface water drainage
could be secured and controlled through a condition.
23. Concerns have been raised about the proposed development causing harm to
wildlife. No designated wildlife sites would be affected, however, I understand
that the existing road frontage hedge could provide an occasional-use badger
sett and a potential feeding habitat for bats. Whilst a significant section of that
hedge would be removed to allow for the proposed access visibility splay, I
note that it is proposed to provide a new stone hedge at the back of the splay
with landscape planting behind that. This would provide mitigation for the loss
of the existing hedge.
24. With regard to the proposed footpath running to the rear of the proposed
dwellings and through to School Lane, this is unlikely to generate such a large
amount of use, given the fairly small scale of the development, to result in
excessive noise and disturbance resulting from its use. In terms of security
risk to adjacent properties, I have no substantive evidence to indicate that the
proposed footpath would be likely to represent such a risk or provide greater
opportunity for breaches of security, especially as the site is currently not well
secured.
25. I have considered the effect of the proposed development on the living
conditions of residents living near to the site, particularly the nearest dwelling
known as Pandora. The proposed dwellings would be set away from the site
boundary with Pandora to an extent that they would not have an enclosing or
overbearing impact, particularly as the rear garden of that house is fairly large

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Appeal Decision APP/D0840/A/14/2216991

and not enclosed by any other development other than the existing house
itself. Furthermore, due to the degree of separation of the proposed dwellings
from the mutual boundary, it would be unlikely for there to be overlooking of
the neighbouring property to an extent that there would be a harmful loss of
privacy. This would be further minimised given the oblique relationship
between the rear elevations of the respective existing and proposed dwellings
and that any direct overlooking of the garden would be towards its rear.
26. In respect of potential noise disturbance to those neighbouring residents, the
use of the proposed gardens could generate some noise. However, it is
unlikely that it would be to an extent that it would be intrusive, particularly in a
context where there is an existing dwelling to the south of Pandora which has
the potential to generate noise from the use of its garden.
27. I have had regard to concerns regarding potential loss of privacy to people
visiting the adjacent cemetery, caused by overlooking from the proposed
properties, together with concerns of increased noise disturbance. The first
floor windows would be set away from the mutual boundary which, together
with existing intervening vegetation, would be likely to prevent overlooking to
an extent that it would be intrusive. At ground floor level and garden level, the
existing boundary vegetation, together with rear garden boundary treatment,
would be likely to prevent an unacceptable loss of privacy. In respect of noise,
given that it would be a residential use, any noise disturbance would be
unlikely to be significant or any greater than is currently the case in respect of
existing surrounding dwellings.
28. The proposed development would result in the loss of agricultural land.
However, I have received no substantive evidence that it is of sufficient value
to over-ride the benefits of the proposed development in respect of affordable
housing provision.
29. An issue has also been raised about low income families being trapped in the
village unless they use a car, in light of the bus service being due to be
cancelled. However, I have not received any substantive evidence in relation
to this scenario nor that future occupants would be unlikely to have access to a
car.
30. Concern has been raised about existing contamination on the site. A desk
study carried out by the appellant suggests that there could be potential for
some contamination and recommends that a ground investigation be carried
out. However, there is no indication that any contamination found could not be
not be mitigated and so is not a reason for dismissing the appeal, although any
necessary mitigation would need to be secured through a condition.
31. The Council, in its submissions, refers to a requirement for a financial
contribution, relating to each of the proposed open market houses, towards
local primary school education. This is on the basis that the St Erth primary
school was operating at 94% capacity at the time the officer report was
written, and that the proposed development would be likely to create additional
demand for school places. I note that the lack of a mechanism to achieve such
a contribution was not included as a reason for refusal in the Councils decision
notice and the Unilateral Undertaking submitted with the appeal does not
include provision for this.

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Appeal Decision APP/D0840/A/14/2216991

32. I have not received any substantive information or evidence to indicate that the
proposed development would cause the school to exceed its capacity given that
at the time of the officers report being written it was 6% below this, nor of any
changes in the demand for places since that report was written. I therefore
consider that there is insufficient evidence to justify such a financial
contribution in this case and that it would not meet the three tests set out in
paragraph 204 of the Framework.
Conditions
33. The Council has suggested a number of conditions that it considers would be
appropriate were I minded to allow the appeal. I have considered these in the
light of advice in the Governments Planning Practice Guidance (PPG). For
clarity and to ensure compliance with the PPG, I have amended some of the
Councils suggested wordings and omitted one of those suggested conditions. I
have also added two in relation to surface water drainage and contamination as
referred to above.
34. The standard conditions requiring details of the reserved matters and the
timing of their submission together with the standard time condition are
required in this case, and for the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of
proper planning, a condition requiring that the development is carried out in
accordance with the approved plans is also required.
35. In the interests of providing safe and convenient pedestrian linkages from the
site to the village, and to provide a flood escape route to School Lane in the
event of flooding, it would be necessary to secure the provision of the proposed
pedestrian links, together with details of their surfacing and landscaping.
36. As the site would be susceptible to flooding to some extent, a condition
requiring a flood risk assessment, specifically relating to ensuring that the
proposed ground floor levels of the dwellings would be above potential flooding
levels, would be required.
37. In the interests of the character and appearance of the surrounding area,
details of street lighting would need to be secured, and implemented
accordingly, in the interests of minimising light pollution and preventing
disproportionate attention being brought to the proposed development in this
edge of village location.
38. Details of measures to protect the distinctive boundary hedge along the part of
the site boundary shared with the adjacent cemetery would also be necessary
in order to maintain the verdant character of the area.
39. A condition to secure further details of the proposed visibility splay at the site
access, and its associated landscaping, together with its implementation and
retention, would be necessary the interests of highway safety and the
character and appearance of the area.
40. I note that the Council, in its officer report, states that a surface water
drainage condition is recommended to ensure soakaways are used to attenuate
drainage from the proposed parking area and dwellings. Whilst a condition to
that effect has not been included in the list of suggested conditions, I consider
that this would be necessary. Its inclusion would not prejudice the appellant as
it would not be an unexpected requirement, particularly as one of the

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Appeal Decision APP/D0840/A/14/2216991

recommended measures in his Phase 1 Flood Risk Assessment is for a suitable


SUDS system to be implemented.
41. As referred to in my other matters above, the appellant has identified the
potential for land contamination, with a report suggesting that a ground
investigation be undertaken. This would need to be secured by condition.
Although not one of the Councils suggested conditions, due to the appellants
own desk top study, such a condition would not be unexpected and I also note
that the Councils Environmental Health Planning Liaison recommended a
condition in this respect. The appellant would therefore not be prejudiced by
the inclusion of such a condition.
42. The Council suggest a condition to require details to be submitted with the
reserved matters of landscaping to create a wildlife corridor to mitigate the
effect of removal of the section of hedgerow to create the new access and
visibility splay. However, the plans submitted indicate the intention to provide
landscaping in that location, further details of which would be considered at the
reserved matters stage without a requirement for the suggested condition. I
therefore consider that the suggested condition would be unnecessary.
Conclusion
43. For the reasons given above, and taking all other matters into account, I
conclude that the appeal should be allowed.

Andrew Dawe
INSPECTOR

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Appeal Decision APP/D0840/A/14/2216991

Annex
Conditions
1) Details of the appearance, landscaping, layout and scale (hereinafter called
"the reserved matters") shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the
local planning authority before any development begins and the development
shall be carried out as approved.
2) Application for approval of the reserved matters shall be made to the local
planning authority not later than three years from the date of this permission.
3) The development hereby permitted shall begin not later than two years from
the date of approval of the last of the reserved matters to be approved.
4) The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the
following approved plans: 1759-P01 revision A, 1759-P02 revision A,
1759-P03 revision D, 1759-P04, and 1759-P05.
5) No dwelling hereby permitted shall be occupied until the pedestrian links to
Chenhalls Road and School Lane as shown on plan Ref 1759-P03 revision D
have been completed in accordance with details of the surfacing and
landscaping of the footpaths which shall have firstly been submitted to and
approved in writing by the local planning authority.
6) Any application submitted in respect of the reserved matters shall be supported
by a flood risk assessment. This assessment shall determine appropriate
minimum ground floor levels for the proposed dwellings which shall be
designed accordingly. The development shall be completed in accordance with
the approved details.
7) No street lighting, including any lighting for the pedestrian routes, shall be
installed until details of that lighting have been submitted to and approved in
writing by the local planning authority. The lighting shall be installed and
thereafter maintained in accordance with the approved details.
8) Notwithstanding the details hereby approved, no development shall take place
until full details of the proposed visibility splay at the access with Chenhalls
Road, together with any associated landscaping, have been submitted to and
approved in writing by the local planning authority. The visibility splay shall be
provided in accordance with the approved details prior to the occupation of any
of the dwellings hereby approved, and thereafter retained as such.
9) No development shall take place until measures to protect the boundary hedge
to the south-west boundary of the site with the cemetery during the
construction of the development hereby approved have been implemented in
accordance with details which shall firstly have been submitted to and
approved in writing by the local planning authority. Those hedge protection
measures shall remain in place throughout the course of the construction.
10) No building hereby permitted shall be occupied until surface water drainage
works have been implemented in accordance with details that have been
submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. Before
these details are submitted an assessment shall be carried out of the potential
for disposing of surface water by means of a sustainable drainage system and

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Appeal Decision APP/D0840/A/14/2216991

the results of the assessment provided to the local planning authority. Where a
sustainable drainage scheme is to be provided, the submitted details shall:
i)
provide information about the design storm period and intensity, the
method employed to delay and control the surface water discharged
from the site and the measures taken to prevent pollution of the
receiving groundwater and/or surface waters;
ii) include a timetable for its implementation; and provide a
management and maintenance plan for the lifetime of the
development which shall include the arrangements for adoption by
any public authority or statutory undertaker and any other
arrangements to secure the operation of the scheme throughout its
lifetime.
11) No development shall take place until a site investigation of the nature and
extent of contamination has been carried out in accordance with a methodology
which has previously been submitted to and approved in writing by the local
planning authority. The results of the site investigation shall be made available
to the local planning authority before any development begins. If any
contamination is found during the site investigation, a report specifying the
measures to be taken to remediate the site to render it suitable for the
development hereby permitted shall be submitted to and approved in writing
by the local planning authority. The site shall be remediated in accordance
with the approved measures before development begins.
If, during the course of development, any contamination is found which has not
been identified in the site investigation, additional measures for the
remediation of this source of contamination shall be submitted to and approved
in writing by the local planning authority. The remediation of the site shall
incorporate the approved additional measures.

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