Inspector slams Weedon Hill homes plan as ‘ill-conceived and opportunistic’

The Weedon Hill plans PNL-150119-113215001
The Weedon Hill plans PNL-150119-113215001

Proposals to build up to 220 homes at Weedon Hill have ‘the hallmarks of an ill-conceived and opportunistic response’ to the Vale’s planning blackhole, according to a planning inspector.

David Rose rejected two different appeals by developers Hallam – one for 120 homes and one for 220, both with park and ride facilities.

He said the proposed developments, ‘even with the proposed mitigation measures, would have significant impacts on the character of the landscape and cause

identifiable harm to its appearance’.

He said the proposed park and ride facility within the eastern parcel would sit in isolation without physical connection, or indeed close association, with the built-up area.

“Its overwhelming urbanising influence would belittle the low lying vale landscape of the Hulcott Vale Landscape Character Area and its crudely defined boundaries and mitigation bunding and planting would be highly insensitive to the appearance of the landscape.”

He said the schemes’ benefits ‘would be far outweighed by the harm identified leading to the overall conclusion that the proposals would not be sustainable development’.

Mr Rose, who considered the schemes at public inquiry alongside Hampden Fields and Fleet Marson, hit out at the ‘opportunistic’ application made while the district council is still drawing up its local plan.

He said: “Development in the manner proposed would be both uncharacteristic and intrusive with insufficient regard for its overall context.”

It ‘would run counter to the government’s call for good design and the expressed aim of the planning system to secure the conservation and enhancement of the natural environment’.