Agenda item

DC/19/0897 - Sussex Topiary, Naldretts Lane, Rudgwick

Ward: Rudgwick

Applicant: Tim Bloxham


The Head of Development reported that this application sought permission for the change of use of land for the stationing of caravans for eight gypsy pitches, along with the formation of hardstanding and eight utility/day rooms.  There would be two parking spaces for each pitch. 


The application site was located in a countryside location approximately 850 metres from the built-up area of Bucks Green and over a kilometre from Rudgwick, with access off Naldretts Lane.  The site was a paddock adjacent to the site of application DC/19/1362.  There was some sporadic residential development nearby. 


The Parish Council objected to the application. The Rudgwick Preservation Society had also objected.  There had been 45 representations from 36 households objecting to the scheme, including one received since publication of the report. One letter of support had been received.  The applicant’s agent addressed the Committee in support of the proposal.


Members considered the officer’s planning assessment which indicated that the key issues for consideration in determining the proposal were: the principle of development; landscape character; amenity impacts; impact on highways; and ecology.  Members noted that, until a new Gypsy and Traveller policy is adopted, the Council is unable to demonstrate a five-year land supply of deliverable Gypsy and Traveller pitches.


Members noted the concerns of local residents, the scale of the proposal and the extent of its impact on the countryside location.  Members concluded that the benefits of the scheme in contributing towards the five-year supply of pitches did not outweigh the identified harm.




That planning application DC/19/0897 be refused for the following reasons:


01     The proposed development would be of a number and scale that would result in a significant intensification and increase in the level of activity on the site within a countryside location. The impact of the proposal would therefore result in a level of activity in the countryside which would dominate the sporadic residential development that defines the settlement and would fail to retain the rural character and undeveloped nature of the countryside.  The proposal would therefore be contrary to Policies 23 and 26 of the Horsham District Planning Framework (2015) and paragraphs 14 and 25 of the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites.


02     The proposed development would be of a scale and extent that would result in a formalised and overtly urban nature of development that would detract from the undeveloped and informal character of the rural locality. The proposal would be of a scale and extent that would result in a significant change to the undeveloped and informal character and ambience of the countryside location, with the proposal eroding the sense of place and failing to protect, conserve, or enhance the key features and characteristics of the landscape character area. The proposal would therefore be contrary to Policies 25, 26, 32, and 33 of the Horsham District Planning Framework (2015).


03     Insufficient information has been submitted to determine that the proposed development would not result in harm to protected species and habitat. Therefore an adequate assessment of existing ecological features within the site, and potential ecological habitats, cannot be undertaken, contrary to Policy 31 of the Horsham District Planning Framework (2015).

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