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Controversial housing plan appeal victory

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: November 17, 2013

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DEVELOPERS hoping to build 250 new homes in Burton have tasted victory after winning an appeal after their plans were initially refused.

Secretary of State Eric Pickles (pictured) granted outline planning permission on appeal for a development of up to 250 homes at Red House Farm at the back of Queen’s Hospital.

The proposals by Barwood Strategic Land were refused by East Staffordshire Borough Council in March.

The council’s grounds for refusal included that the proposal site was outside the development boundary defined in its local policies, and that the scheme would adversely affect the character and appearance of the area.

Mr Pickles said that he agreed with a Planning Inspector’s recommendation to grant planning permission for the development following the appeal.

He agreed with the inspector’s findings that the policies setting out the settlement boundaries for the area were out of date and no longer reflected the council’s housing needs.

Both Mr Pickles and the Government body acknowledged that the proposals would have an adverse effect on the character and appearance of the area as it would introduce new built development into the countryside.

However, they agreed that the scheme would ‘recognise the intrinsic character and beauty of that part of the countryside’ in line with the national planning policy framework by the provision of ‘areas of open space and new woodland planting and landscaping’ to mitigate the effect of the proposed buildings.

Mr Pickles said that the proposals would have both social and economic benefits, including helping to address the housing shortfall in the borough as well as the additional access it would provide for emergency vehicles, a bus service and ‘net gains for biodiversity’.

A campaign group has been attempting to thwart these plans in the area.

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