15 June 2017 at 9:20 am #31998
Let us have your comments on this soapbox which can be found here -https://www.aecb.net/passivhaus-planning-refusal/16 June 2017 at 8:22 am #39251
I don't fully understand the case you made. I assume you were not going for the exception clause for “isolated homes in the countryside” which I thought was the main use of Paragraph 55. I sit on the Devon and Somerset Design Review Panel and all the cases I have seen were isolated sites not related to rural communities.19 June 2017 at 6:18 am #39252
I thought the case we were making was clear. What we don't understand is the case that the Council has made. They are perfectly happy to grant planning consent for unexceptional Band D homes to be built on a greenfield site near a bus stop (which may one day disappear) at one end of the town but refuse to allow a Band A Passivhaus home to be built on residential land at the other end of the town simply because the site is 800m from a bus stop. Both the Council and the Planning Inspectorate claim that the reasoning behind their decisions relate to sustainability and harm to the environment. They both claim that an established residential site which, as a result of the Council's decision to remove the local bus service subsidy and is now 800m from the nearest bus stop, is “unsustainable”.
Our site will not accommodate an “isolated home in the countryside”. It is an established residential site in a small group of dwellings on the edge of town. The proposed new dwelling is an exceptional design with exemplary environmental credentials but planning has been refused simply because the NPPF allows the Council to claim the site is “isolated” purely because it is 800m from a bus stop.
This is an abuse of the legislation and which, at best, shows misguided application of planning guidance which was drafted to prevent isolated residential development in the countryside. At worst, it is a spiteful and stubborn refusal to permit any development within an established rural community and when there were no objections from local residents to the design or objections from highways on access, the Council decided to prevent the proposals by claiming that any site more than 400m from a bus stop is “isolated”. This is environmental madness on so many levels4 March 2018 at 9:01 am #47185
After a year and many attempts to meet with three successive Housing & Planning Ministers (Gavin Barwell, Alok Sharma and now Dominic Raab, to name and shame them) to discuss this matter, we are still no further forward. What is even more astonishing is the almost complete absence of any comment or support from the low-energy building community on this matter. I can only conclude that everyone agrees with the decision to refuse planning consent for a Band A passive house on an established residential site simply because the site’s distance (800m) from the nearest bus stop makes the development “unsustainable”. Either that or nobody reads these forum articles any more, in which case the website needs a bit of an overhaul. My refusal to use social media also has something to do with it, I fear.
We have now been promised an announcement from the Government on Monday 5 March 2018 with changes to planning laws to encourage more house building. I can’t wait!
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