Common sense prevails with planning committee success!

A success can be chalked up for prevailing of common sense and natural justice over the desire of commercial gain by developers.

An application to build ten houses plus a 3-storey mixed-use office and retail building, accessed off Cambridge Road, Stansted, was turned down by UDC planning committee. This decision was then appealed by the developer.

The case for confirming the refusal was argued by R4U councillor Richard Freeman and Liberal Democrat councillor Janice Laughlin, representing the elected members of the planning committee.

The applicant was amply supported by a barrister and numerous technical experts.

The appeal was unsuccessful, so the site remains undeveloped for the moment.

The main ‘common sense’ argument against the development lay in the unsatisfactory vehicle and pedestrian access to the site – across a busy pavement, next to a Tesco Express and where there is likely to be another supermarket very soon, plus a bus stop.

These road traffic and pedestrian safety considerations, however, do not constitute planning reasons for refusal!

Refusal was made on a number of technical issues, including inadequate parking for the residents and for the users of the office block, plus the impact of the office and its lighting on the amenity of the house-dwellers

The site will certainly be developed in time; but hopefully with a much more sensible access for vehicles, and a more sensitive and imaginative use of the location.