Rochford District Council has today released this press release
Bloor Homes Appeal – Planning Inspectorates decision
The Council has today received the Planning Inspectorates decision for the appeal against the proposed residential development for 662 dwellings at Land east of Ashingdon Road and north of Rochford Garden Way, Rochford. The appeal has been allowed.
The Inspector’s report concluded that in balancing the benefits and disbenefits of the proposal the adverse impacts of allowing this proposal would not significantly outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in the government’s National Planning Policy Framework taken as a whole.
The appeal was made by Bloor Homes, Aber Ltd, AW Squier Ltd & DW Squier Ltd, and was heard at a 6 day Public Inquiry held at Saxon Hall, Aviation Way on the 25-28 January and 1-2 February 2022. The cost to the Council in defending its decision to refuse the application in June 2021 will amount to approximately £70,000 for hosting the event and for its own legal costs. However, no claims for costs were submitted by the appellants and the Inspector did not find the Council had acted unreasonably in defending its decision.
The Inspector further considered obligations necessary to make the development acceptable and that formed part of the legal agreement for the development drawn up by the Council. These include 232 affordable houses, a £1.4 million contribution towards highway improvements and a further £600,000 towards a range of community benefits.
If you would like to read the report, here are the references to view on our website: Application Ref: 20/00363/OUT Appeal Ref: APP/B1550/W/21/3283646
Despite numerous legal warnings to Councillors, residents had lobbied many Councillors to refuse this application on the basis of the Highway infrastructure, to which (not all) succumbed. The lesson is hard and expensive for all involved in the inspectors’ decision as no evidence was put forward in the appeal to support the refusal. We can only now hope that lessons are learnt in the development of the new local plan and that it gets the amount of attention and effort by all that it should be afforded – if Councillors get this wrong, residents could be facing deja vu in the coming years.