Save Our Valley victory in battle against 82 homes in South Cave as appeal thrown out

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 20 Mar 2017

Battling residents are “ecstatic" after winning a three-year Save Our Valley fight against housing plans for South Cave.

Almost 800 objections were lodged against plans for up to 82 homes on fields off Little Wold Lane.

Gladman Developments Ltd appealed after East Riding Council unanimously rejected its plans for the 6.2 hectare countryside site. But the appeal has now been dismissed by a planning inspector appointed by the Secretary of State.

Jubilant villagers are warning they will fight any legal moves by the developer to challenge the decision. The Cheshire-based developer, who originally put forward plans for 119 homes in 2014, has declined to comment.

Villager Julian Taylor, who spearheaded the Save Our Valley campaign, said: “We are ecstatic with the decision. Hopefully common sense has come to bear. It is a site that is unsuitable for development for several reasons.

“What we have to hope now is they don't try and take it any further. It could still go to a judicial appeal. We will fight it all the way if they do. There was almost 800 letters of objection in the end."

Mr Taylor, of Shepherd's Well, said residents were concerned about flood risk as well as the visual impact of the scheme.

He said: “It's close to the Wolds Way national walking trail. It is country land and it should stay country land. Building on it would have a major visual impact on the area."

Planning inspector Richard Schofield concluded development would have an adverse impact on the character and appearance of the area.

He described the site is an integral and positive part of the village's landscape setting, contributing to the sense of the Wolds countryside sweeping down into South Cave on the wooded valley floor below.

COUNTRYSIDE SPOT: Villager Julian Taylor says the South Cave site is unsuitable for housing.

Mr Schofield said in his ruling: “The scheme would interfere with characteristic views from popular and well used PROWs (public rights of way) across to the Humberhead Levels; compromise the sweep of Little Wold Side into the village and result in an overly prominent and hard edged extension to the village in an exposed location, with little attempt to break up the mass of housing with characteristic integral tree cover.

“The scheme would not protect the existing landscape character or setting of the village, and would certainly not enhance it."

The inspector considered the scheme would result in the loss of more than six hectares of “best and most versatile" agricultural land.

He said: “The appellant has suggested that the scheme would provide benefits in relation to the provision of market and affordable housing, biodiversity improvements, public open space and economic contributions during and post-construction.

“This may be so, but it was common ground between the main parties that in the event that I concluded that the council was able to demonstrate a five-year supply of housing, and that the proposal was unacceptable in character and appearance terms, such benefits would not outweigh the appeal proposal's conflict with the development plan."

Stephen Hunt, head of planning and development management at East Riding Council, said: "The council is pleased that the independent planning inspector agreed with the authority's decision to refuse this application by dismissing the appeal.

"Had the inspector allowed the appeal it would have undermined the lengthy local plan process and all the public feedback which helped identify appropriate sites for development."

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