Beeston Castle Hotel

Tiverton housing decision overturned

David McCourt

The Steppingstone Group has secured planning consent to redevelop the former Beeston Castle Hotel in Tiverton, Tarporley, into 21 affordable family homes.

The two-acre site will be redeveloped to provide 21 two, three and four-bedroom homes on Whitchurch Road.

The application was originally recommended for refusal by officers on the basis of the site not being in a sustainable location, with poor access to local services, but the decision was overturned.

Paul Entwistle, senior planner at GL Hearn, which advised the Steppingstone Group, said: "Despite the plans being for 21 dwellings on brownfield land, the application was met with some opposition, with officers viewing the plans as 'unsustainable' in National Planning Policy Framework terms.

"We successfully argued at the committee meeting that officers are incorrectly interpreting NPPF guidance on sustainability as a reason for refusing applications that should clearly now be granted consent."

GL Hearn also advised Steppingstone on affordable housing requirements on site, negotiating down the affordable housing requirements from 40% to less than 10%.

Richard Heathcote, land and planning director at GL Hearn, said: "Successfully reducing affordable housing requirements in these tough economic times can make or break a scheme.

"I would advise any developer to undertake a thorough viability appraisal of their scheme to see if there is justification for similar savings."

A reserved matters application for the site is expected in the next few months.

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