APPEAL 19/01840/OUT APP/R3325/W/20/3259668 Location: Land North Of Ansford Hill, Ansford, Castle Cary, Somerset BA7 7PD
Notice of the appeal against refusal of the application to build 200 houses on the field directly above Castle Cary station, was received on 18th February. (Letter re Appeal)
Those of you who remember the application will probably have made your comments to the Planning Department at the time and will have received a copy of this letter.
However, we now need to make our opposition felt to the Inspector. Views should be sent to The Planning Inspectorate, 3/10b, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, BRISTOL, BS1 6PN or email [email protected] quoting reference APP/R3325/W/20/3259668 before the 17 March 2021.
The application was discussed in detail at the Area East Committee meeting in May 2020; this is the link to the Youtube recording of the meeting:
Discussion of the application starts at 14 minutes and last for about an hour.
As you’ll see from this recording, there were many areas of concern but permission was refused for the following reason:
01. The development, by reason of its scale and location, represents a visually obtrusive encroachment beyond the town’s obvious physical and topographically informed limits and into the open countryside, to the detriment of local and landscape character. This harm would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the proposal and would be contrary to policies SD1, SS1, SS5, EQ2, EQ3, LMT1 of the South Somerset Local Plan (2006-2028), policy DP1 and the aims and objectives of the Castle Cary and Ansford Neighbourhood Plan (2019), and the provisions of the NPPF.
All residents of Castle Cary and Ansford will surely know that the station is the gateway to our much loved Town and that a large development of the field will cause demonstrable harm to this view. The Inspector needs to know just how much we all value this part of our environment and the only way he will know this is if we all tell him so.
South Somerset, Ansford Parish and Castle Cary Town Councils contributed to the Heritage Assessment submitted in 2019: (Heritage Assessment)
The Appellants have submitted their ‘Landscape and Visual Hearing Statement’ here: (Appellant’s Landscape and Visual Hearing Statement)
The main Appellant case can be seen here: Appellant’s Planning Hearing Statement
All documents can be found on the SSDC website: https://www.southsomerset.gov.uk/forms/planning/planning-documents?ref_no=19/01840/OUT
There are several other reasons that this development should not be allowed including the fact that South Somerset already has a six year Housing Land Supply (see below) and that it’s beyond the A 371 natural boundary of the Direction of Growth on the Local Plan and against Policy HOU 2 (page 24) of our Neighbourhood Plan, which states ‘While there remains a substantially greater supply of permissions for housing development within the NP area than the LP minimum requirement, further proposals for housing development within the direction of growth will be paused unless there is clear evidence that the additional housing will help meet a clearly identified local need for affordable or social housing (that need arising from within the NP area and its hinterland) that is not capable of being met elsewhere.’
We already have a large proportion of affordable housing on the new estates along Station Road so there isn’t a need for yet more.
This will be discussed at our monthly Planning Meeting on Monday March 1st. via Zoom. As with all Town Council meetings, members of the public are welcome to attend and may speak for up to 3 minutes supporting or objecting to applications. The Agenda and a Zoom link are available on the Planning page of this website: (Link to Planning page) from Wednesday 24th February afternoon.
Appeal decision 37 High Street (old Nat West/Stuckey’s Bank) Appeal dismissed 13 January 2021: APPEAL DECISION
Updates from South Somerset District Council
Housing Land Supply
One of the frustrations of the last five years has been that SSDC could not demonstrate a Five Year Housing Land Supply, thus leading to the granting of several Appeals.
Officers in the South Somerset District Council Strategic Planning Team have now updated the Council’s Five-Year Housing Land Supply assessment for the period 2020-2025 and have informed us that their calculations show that South Somerset District Council now has a supply equivalent to 6 years.
The full report is here. This is fantastic news for the District Council and for Castle Cary Town Council/Ansford Parish Council because it means that the tilted balance towards the presumption in favour of sustainable development will no longer apply in respect of the lack of a five year land supply. This should now mean that no more planning permissions should be granted in the Castle Cary/Ansford area until the current ones are completed and occupied as stated in the Neighbourhood Plan .
Another key planning issue that has come to the fore recently is that of the potential for developments to affect the already high levels of phosphates in the Somerset Levels and Moors. SSDC has issued a further briefing paper on this here and updates can be found on the SSDC website: https://www.southsomerset.gov.uk/services/planning/somerset-levels-and-phosphates/