Ripley Carriage Ltd (RCL) has secured planning permission for 26 new homes in Guildford’s Green Belt. Guildford Borough Council is promoting the site for residential development in its emerging Local Plan but had refused planning permission on the basis that the scheme would be inappropriate development in the Green Belt and (rejecting RCL’s very special circumstances case) that the development would cause harm to the character and appearance of the Ripley Conservation Area and nearby listed buildings, would result in the loss of a non-designated heritage asset (an 18th Century Coachworks building) and would result in the loss of employment generating floorspace.
The Inspector concluded that the loss of employment floorspace was justifiable and although the scheme would be inappropriate and would cause some heritage harm, there were nonetheless very special circumstances to justify the grant of permission, concluding that “the substantial benefits of delivering housing including affordable housing in excess of policy, only limited harm to heritage assets and an improvement to the High Street frontage of the site within the CA, and the Council’s intention to take forward this site as a residential allocation in the ELP are together sufficient to constitute the VSC necessary to allow the proposed development in the GB”.
Robert Walton advised and acted for RCL, instructed by James Brown at Shrimplin Brown.
Click here for a copy of the decision.