01:00PM, Tuesday 16 February 2021
Plans to build homes on the former Squires Garden Centre may go ahead despite being rejected by the Royal Borough in December 2019.
The application to build 37 homes, 11 of which would be affordable, was refused by councillors on the Royal Borough’s planning panel on the grounds that it would be an inappropriate development on the greenbelt.
Developers Bewley Homes appealed this decision and the planning inspectorate has now agreed to a hearing.
The council believes that the layout, scale, bulk, proximity to other properties and lack of opportunity for landscaping ‘would result in a dense pattern of development that would appear overly dominant and cramped’.
The proposal includes two blocks of flats, two or three storeys high, two detached houses, eight semi-detached houses and a terrace of four homes.
Property developers Bewley Homes believes that the development falls under very special circumstances due to ‘the exceptional need for affordable housing across the borough’.
It also argues that the proposal does not have a great impact on the openness of the greenbelt, as the land is currently covered in either hardstanding or garden centre structures and an existing 3-4m high wall.
In its appeal letter, the developer’s representatives said: “The visual impact of the proposed scheme will be very limited in comparison with the existing structures and limited openness of the site.”
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