Dorset Council refuse plans for 19 new homes in Cerne Abbas

A PLAN for 19 homes on a Cerne Abbas site has been refused by Dorset Council.

The planning application for Swanhills, 32 Acreman Street, asked for the demolition of existing garages prior to redeveloping the site.

The proposal for the 1.1 hectare site was submitted by Applecourt Ltd and included the creation of 46 additional car parking spaces in addition to the 19 homes – six 2-bed properties classed as ‘affordable” with the remainder for the open market; three 2-bed, seven 3-bed and three 4-bed or larger.

The parish council had raised no objection to the development but several residents had written to object, many claiming it would be an overdevelopment of the site likely to lead to additional traffic problems in the area.

The site is currently occupied by a single storey home, accessed from the A352 which runs along the site’s western boundary, with a public right of way across the south of the site, connecting it to Springfield Close with another path along the northern boundary connecting to Duck Street.

The Dorset Council planning case officer said the while the principle of developing the site was acceptable the details would be contrary to several local and national policies including the belief that it would detract from the local landscape character and be would be ‘visually intrusive’ and have an impact on rights of way.

There were also concerns about the level of detail in a scheme to deal with surface water management and the possible effect on water quality.

Six residents had written to object with eight writing in support. Those backing the proposals said the development would offer a good mix of homes, that the designs were in keeping with the village and would offer some affordable homes.

Detractors warned of the impact on local facilities including sewage and drainage, overlooking, traffic and contamination risks.

Among the listed reasons for refusal were the scale and siting of some of the two storey homes on an elevated site which would result in a ‘visually intrusive’ development; the layout failing to integrate the affordable homes with limited private spaces for some; an excessive variety of building designs which would result in an incoherent design and character and a potential risk to water courses.

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