Green belt homes plan in Wolverhampton is thrown out following …
Plans for six new self-build homes in Wolverhampton have been thrown out after council bosses agreed they would wreck the city's green belt and nearby heritage assets. Developer Richard Sanders had made an application for construction of the properties on grass land off Bridgnorth Road, with parking, landscaping and the creation of a children's playground and open space included in the bid.
However, the proposal attracted strong objections from nearby residents as well as the National Trust, which expressed concern about the impact on neighbouring Wightwick Manor and the conservation area it sits in. A total of 37 residents had objected to the application, citing a number of different reasons including the potential for the homes exacerbating existing flooding issues. Other reasons included the harmful impact on the green belt and wildlife, an increase in traffic and noise, impact on highway safety and a fear of crime.
In a report to this week's meeting of the council's planning committee, the National Trust said: "The application site is close to Wightwick Manor and its gardens. The entrance to Wightwick Manor is located immediately to the north east of the site.
"Views of the application site from the property itself are limited. However, views are possible from parts of the Grade II registered gardens, especially in winter when the tree cover is at its thinnest. The application site is also alongside the Wightwick Bank Conservation Area, of which Wightwick Manor is part. Other heritage assets in the area include Grade II listed Netherton House (not National Trust) which neighbours Wightwick Manor.
"Views from the conservation area cross the site to the open land of the Smestow Valley beyond. These views and those along Bridgnorth Road are green and have a very rural atmosphere considering the proximity to Wolverhampton.
"The proposed development would diminish this rural character through the loss of the large open gap. The erection of six dwellings along this part of the Bridgnorth Road would result in an urbanisation of this area," it added. "This urbanising effect would harm the character and appearance of the Wightwick Bank Conservation Area and the setting of the registered historic garden of Wightwick Manor."
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A further report to the committee said: "The development would result in inappropriate development within the green belt and would introduce a significant footprint of permanent development at this site, eroding itsopen character. No very special circumstances have been demonstrated to outweigh this harm. The development would not preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area or the setting of listed buildings.
"Furthermore, insufficient information has been submitted regarding ecology, highways and drainage. Therefore, the proposal would be contrary to the development plan as a whole."
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