May 27 2016

Local Planning Inspector says Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty status carries “only moderate weight”

A plan to build 28 new homes at Swanpool only a couple of miles from the Helford, have been given the go ahead by the planning inspectorate in a ruling which overturns a previous decision by Cornwall Council.

Cornwall Council had objected to the plans by Linden Homes on the grounds that the development would affect the local setting, in particular an adjacent Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

However at a hearing last week, inspector Jonathan Manning decided that the social and economic benefits of the development were “not significantly and demonstrably outweighed” by the concerns of objectors, and overruled Cornwall Council’s decision to refuse the scheme.

He said: “The proposal would make provision for 28 new dwellings, including affordable units towards the council’s housing land supply. There would also be some associated economic benefits.

“I consider that these benefits attract a significant level of weight in the scheme’s favour, particularly given the council’s position in relation to housing land supply.

“On the other hand, I have identified that the proposal would cause some harm to the character and appearance of the area, including to a minor degree to the setting of the AONB, which carries moderate weight against the scheme.

“The proposal constitutes sustainable development, when the Framework is considered as a whole.”

Mr Manning chose not to award costs to Linden Homes, which the company had threatened Cornwall Council with when it resubmitted its application, as he found the council had not acted unreasonably in refusing the application.