Cheshire East Council is celebrating an appeal success after a planning inspector supported its decision to refuse the development of seven homes in Sandbach.
An application was initially submitted in June 2012 by Emery Planning Partnership on behalf of the owners of Dingle Farmhouse on Dingle Lane, to convert the grade 2-listed barn into a home and build a further 11 houses with garages and car parking. Following initial refusal, an application in February 2014 reduced the number of new homes to six, which was again refused.
The estate of the deceased previous owner of the property then appealed against the council's decision. After a three-day inquiry in November, planning inspector David Prentis concluded that the changes to the farmhouse, which dates from the 17th Century, would harm its special interest as a listed building and also rejected the appeal against refusal of permission for the new homes.
Following the decision on Dingle Farmhouse Cheshire East issued a statement to the press, in which council leader Cllr Michael Jones praised the ruling which he said showed that the council had been right to refuse planning permission on heritage grounds.
Jones said: "I am pleased that the inspector has backed our decision to refuse planning permission. It shows that we are continuing to oppose inappropriate development and to make every effort to preserve Cheshire East's heritage."
The council has lost a string of housing appeals at inquiry in the past two years as inspectors found it could not meet the legal requirement to show five years of deliverable housing plots. Inspectors have pointed to a housing shortfall of 3,000 homes over the past six years to justify housing developments in the area.
The public examination into Cheshire East's local plan is currently suspended after the inspector asked the council to supply further evidence into its housing supply estimates and co-operation with neighbouring authorities.