Homes plan refused after criticism over design

Plans for a new housing development in a village have been rejected following criticism of the design of the scheme.

Shropshire Council refused the plans
Shropshire Council refused the plans

The site of a former scrap yard at The Nook, a mile south east of Child’s Ercall, had been earmarked for 21 homes by Combi Developments Ltd.

The developer proposed including three affordable homes in the scheme as well as almost 3,500 square metres of public open space.

But Shropshire Council planning officers have refused to grant planning permission.

A report by a case officer said the developer had initially proposed a scheme of 30 homes but this was revised down following discussions with the council.

The settlement of The Nook currently consists of 22 homes.

The report said: “The housing mix consists of seven three-bedroom, 11 four-bedroom and three five-bedroom homes.

“All of the properties are detached accept the four smaller semi-detached properties (of which three are the affordable units).

“The proposed dwellings predominantly consist of large floor areas and are of an urban style appearance and not reflective to the rural character of the area.

“The mix does not provide smaller dwellings that are suitable as starter homes or allow for older people wishing to downsize.”

Child’s Ercall Parish Council objected to the plans, saying: “The council does not oppose the principle of a good quality, policy compliant, residential development of appropriate scale and housing mix on the site, but we do not believe the present proposal will meet those criteria.”

The parish council said the proposals would be an over-development of the site, the design of the homes was “inappropriate”, and that the application “lacked detail”.

The parish clerk added: “Whilst the scheme overall has been of a quality which has disappointed this council, there is no evidence that Shropshire Council have made any realistic attempt to negotiate with the developer to produce a better-quality scheme.”

The planning officer’s report concluded: “It is considered that the scale of the development on this site has a detrimental visual impact when viewed from surrounding viewpoints and that its design is out of character with the rurality of the setting and the common vernacular of residential development within the area.”

A previous application for seven homes on part of the site was approved in 2014 but the houses were never built and the site was later sold to the current applicant.

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