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Appeal success for a nursing home in Sutton

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Success at Appeal for a 70-bed specialist neurological nursing home in the Green Belt.

CSA have been working closely with Lansdown and Fonthill Care and provided landscape, townscape and Green Belt advice on the redevelopment of a brownfield site in the London Borough of Sutton. The site is currently occupied by glasshouses, hard surfacing and ancillary structures. CSA also provided an expert witness on these topics at the Hearing.

The information submitted with the planning application showed that there would be a reduction in the volume and footprint of the buildings on the site and that there would be a significant increase in open space. A townscape assessment, landscape strategy and LVIA were also produced. The LVIA showed that there would be virtually no views of the nursing home from the public domain or wider Green Belt and that the scale and form of the building would be compatible with the character of the neighbouring area.

The Greater London Authority’s consultation response to the application acknowledged that the proposed nursing home ‘would not have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt than the existing development’. It then went on to say that ‘the proposed care home use is supported’. Despite this advice and the evidence before them, Sutton Council refused the planning application and it subsequently went to appeal.

The Inspector’s decision concluded that ‘I have found that the proposed development would not be inappropriate development in the Green Belt and would not result in a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt compared to the existing built form on site. I have also found that the proposed development would be in keeping with the character and appearance of the area’.

The Inspector concluded that the proposed development should ‘reasonably have been permitted’ and that the Council had behaved unreasonably in the way in which they had handled the planning application and the resultant appeal. As a result of their unreasonable behaviour, costs were awarded against Sutton Council.