‘Very happy with result’ says agent after couple from East Cambridgeshire win appeal to build four houses that council refused

Gravel End, Coveney, where four homes can now be built after East Cambridgeshire Council lost an app

Gravel End, Coveney, where four homes can now be built after East Cambridgeshire Council lost an appeal. Picture; GOOGLE - Credit: Archant

A couple from Coveney won their appeal be allowed to build four houses in the village after East Cambridgeshire District Council had refused them permission.

The Kerridges can now go ahead and build the houses at Meadow Croft Lodge in Gravel End - a decision welcomed by their agent Ian Smith of Cheffins.

"Although not happy with how long it took (12 weeks since the site visit), we are very happy with the result," he tweeted.

East Cambs Council had described the application as back land development and claimed it would be out of character with the area.

"The visual harm would be exacerbated by the prominence of the site in public views," council planners ruled.

But Government planning inspector Michael Wood disagreed and allowed the appeal, initially pointing to a "procedural" matter which restated that the council no longer held a five years housing land supply.

As a result, he said, the council's housing supply policies "should not be considered up to date" and means that permission should be granted unless an adverse impact would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits.

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He ruled that the four homes proposed would be in keeping and would "provide a satisfactory visual closure to the built up area of the village and preserve its character and appearance.

"In my judgement, whilst there will be some short term inconvenience during

construction this must be weighed against the wider social and economic benefits to be gained from providing houses to help redress the shortfall in supply.

"I have considered concerns which have been voiced by neighbours over a number of matters including possible effects on public views; effects on

the street scene and landscape; highway safety, parking and turning; businfrequency and effects on drainage.

"I do not consider that any adverse impacts from the development would, either individually or collectively, outweigh the benefit of allowing four new houses in this location, therefore permission should be granted."

During the appeal the council said the applicants had made reference to consistency in decision making.

The council said that four homes previously agreed elsewhere in the village for a farm house had replaced agricultural buildings and were on a frontage site.

They said there was little similarity between the two "and to suggest that this reflects an inconsistency of approach by the local planning authority is to misunderstand the obvious differences in context of the two sites."