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Ruling could pave way for 22 homes in Clapham
Housing developers of a former car dealership site in Clapham could forge ahead after the lifting of a restrictive planning condition.
Outline planning permission for the Dalesview Garage site in Old Road was given almost three years ago, but the scheme never proceeded to full planning consent.
Councillors were told that a 7.5 metre high height condition on the scheme for 22 homes was making the development unviable in the current difficult economic climate.
But they agreed to lift it after hearing its last-minute inclusion in December 2009 at the insistence of councillors had been suspect.
Paul Tunstall, agent for McConnell Homes Ltd, told Craven District Council’s planning committee meeting that the developers wanted to get on with the development of the site, which was now something of an eyesore.
He said they were of the opinion that homes of two and a half storeys could be accommodated within the development and pointed out that councillors would have the opportunity to look at the plans again when they returned for approval at the reserved matters stage.
But Coun Robert Heseltine (Ind) said the condition should stay and that the committee should not be influenced by developers facing difficulties in the current economic climate.
Coun Paul English (Lib Dem) added that the condition had been included for sound reasons and should remain.
“It seems to me the applicant couldn’t have the number of houses that they wanted, so they’ve decided to go up,” he said.
“The financial matters are not for us to consider, we are here to decide on planning matters.”
But the committee was told by planning officers that the height condition could be deemed unreasonable and solicitor Annette Moppett added had she been present at the meeting in 2009, she would have raised concerns.
Senior planning officer Ian Swain told the committee having homes of more than 7.5 metres could add variety to the development and pointed out an appeal by the developers would be likely to win.
Coun Stephen Place (Ind) pointed out the committee had given approval to other developments of 2.5-storey homes and believed the condition was unreasonable.
“I have every sympathy with the developer. We have to consider whether the imposition of this condition was unreasonable, and I think it was,” he said.