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PPS 7 Exception Proposal Rejected by First Secretary of State - Test Case

Richard Phillips QC
Craig Howell Williams QC

An application for a large dwelling-house in the countryside near the village of Hurstbourne Priors in Hampshire was called in for determination by the First Secretary of State following approval of the scheme by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. The proposal involved a large four-storey house (with underground parking), designed by Robert Adam (as a development of the classical architectural tradition), to be sited in a disused chalk quarry in the AONB. The scheme was promoted on the basis that it was an exception under paragraph 11 of PPS7. The Hurstbourne Park and Testbourne Estates, owners of adjoining land, objected to the application and at an Inquiry lasting eight days called evidence on all the relevant issues. The First Secretary of State accepted her Inspector's recommendation that planning permission should be refused, concluding that it did not meet all the relevant Key Principles of PPS 7 and that, although the proposal was of a good design, it was not of an exceptional quality or innovative nature to meet the requirements of paragraph 11 of PPS 7. Moreover, it failed in relation to policies in other national policy guidance such as PPG 3, PPG 9, PPG 13 and PPG 15.

The Objectors were granted a partial award for costs.

The Objectors were represented by Richard Phillips QC and Craig Howell Williams, instructed by Berwin Leighton Paisner.