1. The appeal is allowed and planning permission is granted for residential development of 62 dwellings and associated works including a new access to the south on Land at Townhouse Road, Costessey in accordance with the terms of the application, Ref 2009/1996/O, dated 16 December 2009, subject to the conditions on the Schedule at the end of this decision.
2. The application was submitted in outline form with all matters reserved for future consideration apart from access. As scale is a reserved matter further information was submitted during the course of the Inquiry regarding the height, width and length of the proposed buildings in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2010. It was confirmed that no dwelling would exceed 2 storeys in height.
3. There was much discussion during the course of the Inquiry about the distance of the development from the protected trees in Carr’s Hill Wood. The Appellants proposed a 15 metre buffer zone between the northern site boundary and the built development and that this would not be publicly accessible. It was clear however that it would not be possible to accommodate the proposed number of dwellings at a density of 30 dwellings per hectare whilst maintaining a similar relationship between the new dwellings and the existing residential properties to the south and west.
4. The Appellants sought to overcome this problem by reducing the number of dwellings to 62 and producing a revised illustrative Masterplan (Document 24). There were no objections from the main parties or any of those present at the Inquiry to this change. I am satisfied that there would be no prejudice to anyone’s interest and that the revisions would have benefits in terms of the protected trees. I have had regard to Bernard Wheatcroft Ltd v Secretary of State for the Environment (1982) and concluded that the substance of the development would not materially change. I shall therefore determine the appeal on the basis that it is for a residential development of 62 dwellings.
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