Residents at Newby Acre – and the Marlborough Town Councillors who have been supporting them – are celebrating the dismissal announced today (August 3) of the appeal by Aster Communities over the refusal of their planning application for a ‘fill-in’ development.
Aster had sought planning permission to build a single pair of semi-detached houses on an ‘informal open amenity space’ and land used for residents’ parking.
The application had been roundly condemned by Marlborough Town Councillors and rejected by Wiltshire Council planning officers.
In reaching his conclusion, the Planning Inspector identified three main issues:
• The effect of the proposed pair of dwellings upon the character and appearance of the area;
• The effect of the proposal upon green infrastructure; and
• The effect of the proposal upon the living conditions of the nearest residential property at No 47 Newby Acre, with respect to outlook.
The Inspector found that the proposed houses would have a harmful impact in the first two of the three main issues. But, after a site visit in July, he found they would not have had a harmful effect on the living conditions of the occupants of No 47 Newby Acre despite their closeness to that home.
In his three page decision report, the Inspector describes the site as being “located within a tight knit residential area.” And he firmly defended the use of the gently sloping part of the site for informal play: “Such informal play close to houses, which the Council refers to as ‘doorstep’ play space, has value for children different from play within specific formal areas.”
Reporting on the impact of the proposed development on the ‘green infrastructure’ of the area, the Inspector quoted Wiltshire Council’s Core Strategy policy 52. But he is careful not to set a precedent: “I have considered this site on its own merits. The implication of this policy for developing other sites will depend upon the merits of those cases.”
Councillors Marian Hannaford-Dobson and Stewart Dobson who have been supporting local residents told Marlborough.News: ‘We are thrilled to bits and know that residents there will be over the moon. At least it proves that the system sometimes works as it should.”
After helkping residents mark the dismissal, Councillor Dobson told Marlborough.News: “As you can see there was a great feeling of joy and relief that the Inspector had dismissed the Appeal, but there was a tinge of sadness that the recent appeals for Baylie Acre and Rabley Wood Viewhad gone the other way.”
“As the Ward Member I was thrilled with the decision and pleased to have supported the residents in their campaign, along with Town Councillors Alec Light, Richard Allen, Margaret Rose and Marian Hannaford-Dobson.”