Appeal against refusal of Sandycroft housing plans dismissed over flood risk concerns
An appeal against the refusal of plans to build houses next to a groundworks business in Flintshire has been dismissed.
Cheshire Tarmac and Driveways Ltd applied in November 2020 to build six properties on land at Station Road in Sandycroft.
The family-owned firm, which specialises in tarmac and paving, is currently based at the site, but looking to move to a larger premises.
However, permission for the scheme was refused by Flintshire Council in September last year because of the risk of flooding at the site and concerns about the impact on neighbours.
The company lodged an appeal with Planning and Environment Decisions Wales in April in a bid to have the ruling overturned.
However, the planning inspector appointed to oversee the case has upheld the local authority’s decision.
In his report, Anthony Thickett said: “Although argued to be negligible, the appellant accepts that the flood consequences assessment and hydraulic modelling show the development would lead to increases in flooding potential.
“The potential consequences of a flooding event are not, therefore, acceptable and the proposal does not satisfy criterion.
“In light of the extent site levels needing to be raised to address the risk of flooding, I share the council’s concerns regarding the visual impact of the proposed development on nearby occupiers.
“I visited the site in the middle of a working day and whilst I heard little, if any, noise from the adjoining industrial uses, the noise generated by traffic, including large lorries passing along Station Road and Prince William Avenue was intrusive.
“In the absence of a noise survey, I cannot be certain that prospective residents would enjoy satisfactory living conditions.”
Planning agents acting on the firm’s behalf previously claimed the economic benefits of the proposals would outweigh any harm.
They also highlighted a shortage of housing in Flintshire as a reason why the application should be approved.
But Mr Thickett said it was not enough to address his concerns.
He said: “I acknowledge that the proposed development would assist in addressing the shortfall.
“However, this and my findings regarding the impact of the proposed development on the character and appearance of the area, are outweighed by my conclusions regarding flood risk and living conditions.
“For the reasons given above and having regard to all matters raised, I conclude that the appeal should be dismissed.”
Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).
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