Decision to reject Newport home plan is backed

The Planning Inspectorate has backed a council decision not to allow a new home to be built behind an historic terrace in Newport.

The canal in Newport is nearby
The canal in Newport is nearby

In December developer George Kelson applied to build the two-storey house on land currently used for horse and sheep grazing, but Telford & Wrekin Council turned the proposal down three months later.

Government-appointed inspector Darren Hendley dismissed Mr Kelson’s appeal, and said the homes would “significantly disrupt the setting” of the former Shropshire Canal branch, immediately to the south, the Newport Lock monument, and 18th and 19th century terraced houses to the east.

Mr Hendley also noted that the 300-square-metre site was technically in a “rural area”, where council planning policies “strictly control” housebuilding.

He said the site falls just outside the town’s built-up area. Telford & Wrekin planning policies say “residential development will be strictly controlled in the rural area”, and self-built homes are not an exception to this, he added.

“The part of the site where the proposed dwelling would be located abuts the boundary with the Newport Conservation Area,” he added.

“The buildings themselves are mainly 18th and 19th-century. The former Newport branch of the Shropshire Canal also makes an important contribution to the significance. This lies a short distance from the site and includes the well-preserved scheduled monument which consists of a stone roving bridge and a lock.

“The proposal, by virtue of its siting to the rear of the Bridge Terrace properties as a ‘backland’ development, would significantly disrupt the setting of these assets. It would not reflect the historical street pattern of frontage development.


“The reduction in the site’s open character would also diminish the significance of the monument because part of its countryside setting would be lost.

“The design of the proposed dwelling would not fit comfortably with the properties in this part of the conservation area.

“Whilst some consideration has been given to the local vernacular in terms of detailing and even accepting there is some variation in the area, this would not overcome the harm.”

Mr Hendley also found against Mr Kelson’s appeal on flood risk and biodiversity grounds.

In a statement supporting the original application, planning agent Stephen Goodall, of Shrewsbury Design and Build, wrote: “The proposal will add to the social sustainability of the area without causing any environmental harm and will add economic benefit.”

He added that the fact that it was within walking distance of Newport’s main shopping area brought environmental and sustainability benefits.

In a report explaining their original decision to refuse permission for the house, Telford & Wrekin Council planning officers also expressed concern that the new house, with a balcony planned on its east side, would compromise the privacy of Bridge Terrace and Lower Bar residents’ gardens.

Mr Hendley explained that amended plans removed the balcony and the council withdrew the objection, and this matter was not included in his ruling.

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