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Land adjacent to Canonbury Road, Berkeley, Stroud District

DATE: 02 Aug 2016

This was a two week inquiry into a proposal by Charles Church Developments / Persimmon Homes Ltd for a 188 dwelling development on the edge of the historic town of Berkeley.

Following extensive pre and post application consultation, and two amendments to the application in response to feedback from Stroud District Council, the Council's case officer recommended that planning permission be granted. By a 5-4 majority, however, Members of the Development Control Committee voted to refuse planning permission on the grounds that (i) the proposal would harm the setting of the Grade I listed Berkeley Castle, its associated Registered Park and the Berkeley Conservation Area and (ii) the landscape and visual impact of the development would be unacceptable.

The main issues for the inquiry were:

1) whether the Council could demonstrate a 5 year housing land supply;

2) whether and if so to what extent the development would harm the heritage assets cited in the reasons for refusal

3) whether and if so to what extent the development would have a harmful effect on the landscape

4) whether, overall, the proposal was sustainable development having regard to the above considerations as well as the benefits of the development and the settlement hierarchy policies within the Council's recently adopted Local Plan.

On 21 November 2016 the Inspector published his decision allowing the appeal.

Charles Banner appeared for Persimmon Homes Ltd, instructed by Bilfinger GVA.

Sasha Blackmore appeared for Stroud District Council, instructed by the Council Solicitor.