Define, acting on behalf of Dandara Ltd, have achieved planning permission for 71 dwellings at Hawkhurst, Kent at appeal. 

LPA Officers supported our application, in part due to its “exemplary design process”, however members overturned the recommendation due to highway impacts and AONB effects.

Define gave planning, urban design and landscape evidence alongside PJA (highways) and RPS (heritage) with Charles Banner QC’s guidance.

The appeal decision concluded that cumulative highway impacts are not severe, impacts on heritage assets would be on the very lowest of the less than substantial scale, that a housing supply of 4.61 years exists and that a net biodiversity gain of 10% was achieved.

Overall, exceptional circumstances were found to exist, the scheme is in the public interest and complies with the development plan as a whole. Importantly, the Inspector recognised the importance of good design as part of this balancing:

I am of the view that the fact that the harm has been moderated to a significant degree through good design and does not go, in my view, any or much further than what the Council accept is inevitable from the development of a greenfield site in the AONB, to be a very important consideration.”