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Thursday, 21 August 2014

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Story Homes can build 48 homes in Eden village, rules planning inspector

A housing scheme which was turned down by Eden council will now go ahead after a planning inspector gave it a green light.

The Story Homes development, which will see 48 houses built on land next to Scaur Lane in Lazonby in the Eden Valley prompted 42 local letters of objection.

Despite the application being backed by the authority’s planning officers, councillors rejected it because they were concerned about the scale of the scheme, which includes 14 affordable homes.

The development overall will be an assortment of terraced, semi-detached and detached houses.

Story Homes challenged the councillors’ decision, arguing against the suggestion that the scheme was too large for the existing village.

Planning inspector George Baird has now written to the council confirming that he agrees, overturning the refusal to grant permission and setting out his reasons.

Commenting on the scheme’s scale, Mr Baird points out that it would increase the number dwellings in Lazonby by 12 per cent, and occupy an area of just under two hectares.

He states: “In terms of their size, type, design and finish, the proposed new dwellings would complement the character and form of existing development in this part of the settlement....

“The development would not create a harsh and uncompromising edge to the settlement on its southern edge.”

The inspector points out that there must be a presumption in favour of sustainable development and due to the absence in Eden of a five-year supply of housing land, the “moderately adverse” effects of the scheme do not significantly outweigh benefits.

“Drawing all these factors together, the proposal would result in a small scale addition to the size and form of the settlement with a housing scheme that would complement the character of the existing area,” adds the inspector.

He also addresses concerns over traffic that may be generated, saying: “Whilst I fully understand and appreciate the concerns of residents, not all of the vehicles generated by the development would be on the highway or drive through the village at the same time...”

A Story Homes spokeswoman said the scheme would create “high quality” properties.

“As well as complementing the character of the existing area, our development will help address the area’s latent housing needs including 14 new affordable homes for the local community,” she said.

“We shall further introduce new attractive areas of public open space and a controlled drainage scheme to mitigate against existing flooding problems downstream.”

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