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Pickles rejects proposals for 203 Lancashire homes

Plans by Persimmon Homes for a residential development at Knotts Drive south of Colne have been rejected on appeal by Secretary of State (SoS) Eric Pickles after he found that the scheme would fall "significantly short of the expectation for high quality design" in the local authority's development plan.28 Nov 2013

Persimmon had lodged an appeal following Pendle Borough Council's refusal of the application last year on grounds that the design and layout of the proposed estate was "poor and unacceptable".

Pickles said in his decision letter (62-page / 337KB PDF) that he agreed with a Planning Inspector's conclusions that there was "little evidence" of a design led approach to the scheme and "little attempt to connect the housing into its countryside setting" contrary to requirements in both local policies and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Although the NPPF's presumption in favour of sustainable development applied because the local authority was only able to demonstrate less than half of the NPPF's five year housing land supply requirement, Pickles said that the proposals were "relatively unsustainable because of failings with the design approach".

He said he agreed with the Inspector's findings that "it would appear that very little contextual analysis has been undertaken to inform the design, so that it fails in a number of key respects to provide for a high quality, sustainable community that would contribute to enhancing the area for existing or future residents".

Pickles concluded that the adverse impacts of the scheme "significantly and demonstrably" outweighed the benefits and that the scheme would therefore "not meet the tests as regards the presumption in favour of sustainable development".