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One of the First - if not the First - Decision Letters Applying the Revised NPPF Design Policies Including Paragraph 130

Saira Kabir Sheikh QC

LB Sutton refusal on design grounds upheld. Redrow Homes scheme dismissed.

An appeal has been dismissed against the London Borough of Sutton’s refusal to vary two conditions attached to a planning permission in one of the first cases to be determined on the revised NPPF’s design guidance.

Redrow Homes had applied to vary two conditions attached to a planning permission granted in 2014. The result of the variation would be to substitute a full set of new plans for the second phase of the development scheme for Redrow Homes’ uniform design.

The application was resisted on two grounds at the appeal, which related to design matters and amenity space.

The Inspector noted that the revised NPPF sees the creation of high quality buildings and places as fundamental to planning, and a key aspect of sustainable development. Schemes should take opportunities for improving the quality of the area, or the way it functions, but where the scheme accords with relevant policy expectations, they should not be refused on design grounds.

The Inspector found that the proposed scheme would fail to take the opportunity to enhance the area and the way it functions, and would therefore diminish the quality of development compared to the previously approved scheme, contrary to NPPF para 130. The scheme was found to cause unacceptable harm to the character and appearance to the local area.

Saira Kabir Sheikh QC appeared at the inquiry on behalf of LB Sutton.  The decision can be found here.