Thursday, 27 February 2014

Us and them… continued

The decision by EDDC to refuse planning permission for a single dwelling on a site bordering the land at Straitgate Farm last year, referred to in the post titled "Us and them", was recently appealed.

There’s a shortage of housing, so much so that the government is even thinking of loosening planning rules for building in our National Parks. And yet, even though there had previously been a house on the site, the Planning Inspector agreed with EDDC and refused the appeal.

Let’s remind ourselves that it is here that Aggregate Industries expect to get planning permission for a multi-million tonne sand and gravel quarry - one of the more damaging developments open countryside can face.

What message does this send? The application for a traditional single dwelling wasn’t turned down because it would sterilise any mineral reserves. The appeal was refused because a) it was not considered sustainable development, and b) due to the impact on the countryside location. In fact, the dwelling would introduce:
a bulk of built form that would harm views of the surrounding open countryside [that would have] an adverse effect on the character and appearance of the countryside location
How would AI’s application for a quarry in the same location be judged by this planning inspector? On sustainable development - with each load of as-dug material being processed seven miles away on Woodbury Common SSSI, SPA & SAC? On impact on countryside - in full glare of East Devon AONB?