The Developers for a site at Sandgate Nurseries, Henfield, were successful in challenging the lawfulness of the Henfield Neighbourhood Plan but failed to achieve success following a public inquiry on their own site for a residential scheme which fell outside the Built Up Area Boundary. .
Secretary of State, Javid concurred with the Inspector on the recovered appeal and refused appeal for redevelopment of the former Sandgate Nurseries, He noted that the planning authority could demonstrate a five-year supply of housing sites. He agreed with the inspector that the scheme was not in accordance with the development plan overall.Javid concluded that a number of matters weighed against the proposals in terms of harm to the landscape character and appearance of the area and the setting of a listed building. Crucially, design issues surrounding the scheme also proved a key factor in its refusal.
The decision letter can be read here.
Murphy Associates acted as an expert witness for Horsham District Council on hertiage matters on this case. The Inspector agreed that less than substantial harm would be caused to the heritage asset - not as high as the defedant's evidence but nonetheless not as inconsequential as presented by the Appellant's witness. commenting that assessing the impact of a development on setting "should not be a matter purely of percentages but of the quality of the surrouding land.".
On the back of this decision issued on 12th December 2016, a deferred public inquriy that was due to restart on 14th December 2016 was withdrawn by the appellants for a site outside the BUAB of Ashington involving 5 yr housing land supply challenges, landscape, visual amenity and the setting of heritage assets including a non-designated parkscape, Murphy Associates also acted as an expert witness in this case and provided evidence earlier in the year.