Charnwood Borough Council
BWB's Transport Planning team played a vital role in helping a Leicestershire council to block plans for a residential development that they deemed 'unsustainable'. The proposal to build 70 houses on agricultural land at Barrow upon Soar had been recommended for approval by the local planning officer and Highway Authority. However Charnwood Borough Council's planning committee refused over concerns regarding a lack of accessibility, sustainability and the visual impact on the landscape. When the developers appealed, BWB was approached by the council to provide evidence that would defend their view over accessibility and transport.
Our analysis demonstrated that local shops and schools were at the limit of acceptable walking distance and public transport links were not easily accessible. This lack of sustainable travel options meant that most local residents would have to drive. Our evidence was presented by BWB Service Director Chris Holloway at a 2-day hearing in September 2015. Six weeks later The Planning Inspectorate agreed that the development was not sustainable within the meaning of the National Planning Policy Framework and dismissed the appeal.
Charnwood Borough Council did not have a core planning strategy at the time which meant they had less control over where housing, employment and infrastructure should be built. As a result the council had less power to turn down developments that they deemed inappropriate and local developers had a far better chance of securing planning permission. Despite this additional challenge, the council was able to get the Planning Inspectorate to agree with them thanks in part to BWB's expert witness evidence. A week after the appeal decision was revealed, the council announced they were adopting a core strategy to give them greater control over the location of local building developments until 2028.