Shropshire Star

Bungalows plan for vacant Telford land rejected again as appeal thrown out

A planning inspector has ruled against proposals for five bungalows to be built on a piece of vacant land.


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The bungalows were proposed to be built at the site of Lee Dingle, off Lees Farm Drive in Madeley, Telford.

Applicant RSA Developments Limited said that the predominantly two-bedroom bungalows were proposed to have ‘small and manageable’ gardens and would provide a ‘genuine opportunity’ for older residents looking to downsize.

“Whilst the development proposed is not in any way badged as specialist housing or otherwise ringfenced exclusively for elderly residents, it does provide a genuine opportunity for those wishing to down-size in their advancing years, whilst staying local to the area they are familiar with and their social network of friends and family,” they said.

“This is anything but a contrived layout and form of development, rather it proposes a clearly legible and logical layout, accessed via a single shared private driveway.

“The layout proposes simple, yet good quality, housing designs, which adhere to all technical internal and external space requirements, and which respect and respond positively to the site’s context.”

Telford & Wrekin Council refused the planning application stating that the proposal would ‘constitute overdevelopment’ of the site and would result in an ‘insufficient level of useable private amenity space’.

The council also claimed that the development would have a ‘detrimental impact upon the longevity trees subject to a Tree Preservation Order.’

The applicant disputed the reasons for refusal resulting in a planning appeal and planning inspector Tamsin Law deciding the outcome.

She said that the main issues were whether the bungalows would ‘effect on the character and appearance of the area’.

Lees Farm Drive, where five bungalows were earmarked to be built. Photo: Google

Also, the impact the properties would have on the protected trees on the site and the living conditions of future occupiers.

She said that the site, access from Lees Farm Drive, is an ‘irregular shaped’ piece of land currently containing areas of shrubbery and landscaping and bound by trees on one side

“The layout would result in four of the dwellings having small curtilages, significantly lacking the spaciousness of others around it, leading to a much higher building to space ratio,” concluded Mrs Law.

“It would result in a cramped form of development which would be at odds with and erode the established development pattern and urban grain.”

The planning inspector also had ‘concerns’ that protect tress would partly shadow two of the proposed gardens which would ‘give rise to pressure on the trees from subsequent occupiers’.

She highlighted that the Arboricultural Assessment stated that sunlight would reach the gardens in a ‘dappled form through canopies’.

“From my observations at the site visit and the orientation of the land, I consider that the height of the trees, combined with their proximity to the garden area of plots 2 and 3, would create a sense of enclosure that would have a harmful impact on the outlook and useability of the gardens,” she concluded.

“As such I agree with the council that there is likely to be pressure to substantially reduce the height and crown of the trees to let more light into the property and garden and reduce the effects of tree litter falling into the garden.

“I find that the residential environment of the proposed dwellings at plots 2 and 3 would be dominated by the close presence of the existing trees to such an extent that the future well-being of the trees would be likely to be put at risk.”

She added that the protect trees make a ‘significant positive contribution to the character and appearance of the area’.

The planning inspector dismissed the applicant’s appeal.