To consider application UTT/19/2354/OP.
The Principal Planning Officer stated that the proposal related to outline planning permission for up to 60 dwellings with all matters reserved except for access, which was proposed to be from Stortford Road. He said that the indicative plan included a locally equipped area for play, a large area of public open space and also indicated new planting to the rear of properties along St Edmunds Lane to protect the amenity of neighbouring dwellings. He said that High Wood was located opposite the site and was a SSSI and an Ancient Woodland. Also located to the north of Stortford Road was land with consent for up to 790 dwellings.
The Principal Planning Officer said there were no clear reasons for refusing the application and that there were no adverse impacts that would significantly outweigh the substantial benefits that the application sought to deliver.
The application was recommended for approval with conditions and S106 legal obligation.
A representative of the Town Council and Councillor Lavelle, Ward Councillor both spoke against the application as being in an unsustainable location, having an unacceptable impact on the High Wood SSSI, and being unacceptable urban sprawl and neither desirable nor deliverable. Councillor Lavelle further said that this proposal would close a visual gap between Great Dunmow and Little Canfield.
The Principal Planning Officer acknowledged that the Council could not demonstrate a 5 year supply of deliverable housing sites in accordance with the NPPF and that as the Great Dunmow Neighbourhood Plan was more than two years old it could not be considered as having substantial weight in relation to land supply.
Members expressed views about potential urban sprawl, the visual gap between settlements, sustainability, proximity to High Wood, heritage concerns, accessibility, and 40% affordable housing. Some Members considered that this application should be considered on a tilted balance approach.
Councillor Fairhurst proposed refusal of the application on the grounds of urban sprawl and that the proposed development failed to deliver appropriate infrastructure in order to mitigate any impacts, and support the delivery of the proposed development.
Councillor Freeman seconded the motion.
RESOLVED to refuse the application for the following reasons:
1 The proposed development would result in urban sprawl at the western edge of Great Dunmow, within the open countryside as defined within the Adopted Uttlesford Local Plan 1995. The nature of this urban development within the countryside would adversely impact upon the setting of the Market Town of Great Dunmow. The existing function of the application site as agricultural land provides a positive function, enhancing this part of the countryside. The proposal is therefore considered contrary to the implementation of Policy 7 - The Countryside - of the Adopted Uttlesford Local Plan 2005, and the National Planning Policy Framework 2019.
2 The proposed development fails to deliver appropriate infrastructure in order to mitigate any impacts, and support the delivery of the proposed development. The proposal is therefore considered contrary to the implementation of Policies GEN6 - Infrastructure Provision to Support Development, and Policy H9 - Affordable Housing of the Adopted Uttlesford Local Plan 2005, and the National Planning Policy Framework 2019.
T. Moore, Councillor P Lavelle and S Metson spoke on the application.