Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has dismissed an appeal by a developer seeking permission for a 70-home development in Norfolk after agreeing with the inspector who held the recovered appeal that the “less than substantial” harm to the setting of a Grade I-listed building was sufficient to make the proposals unacceptable.
Developer The Fairfield Partnership had appealed after South Norfolk Council failed to determine its proposals for a site at Wymondham within the prescribed time.
The Secretary of State recovered the appeal in March because of the potential impact of the proposals on the setting of Grade I-listed Wymondham Abbey and the result of a recent Court of Appeal case involving Barnwell Manor in Northamptonshire and a proposed wind farm.
The decision letter attached “substantial weight” to the fact that the proposals would provide a significant number of new homes, including affordable homes, in an area with an acknowledged shortfall of housing. The secretary of state also considered that benefits from proposed hedgerow works and improvements to public access favoured the proposals.
However, the SoS concluded that “the adverse impacts of the development on the setting of the Abbey significantly and demonstrably outweigh not just the benefit of providing further housing where a five-year supply of deliverable housing cannot be demonstrated, but the other benefits as well.”