Developer Charterpoint has won a planning appeal for a ten-home bespoke housing development in a sought-after area of the Surrey commuter belt.
The planning inspector’s decision has given the green light for the new properties to be built on the 4.6 acre site at Oak Tree Farm, a short distance from Banstead town centre and within the Metropolitan Green Belt.
Reigate & Banstead Borough Council refused planning permission for the scheme on the site of a former commercial nursery and plant centre in January 2021.
But planning inspector Patrick Whelan has overturned the decision following an appeal by Charterpoint, saying that “the scheme would make an attractive, welcoming and distinctive place to live”.
He stated that the proposed development would not have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt than the existing development on the site.
“It would not therefore be inappropriate development in the Green Belt,” he added.
Adrian Goose, Chief Executive of Nottingham-based Charterpoint, said: “We are delighted with the planning inspector’s decision. This high quality, bespoke housing scheme on land in Banstead, Surrey, is a very desirable development – detailed to reflect the character of the local area.
“The overall design approach for the development is based on a traditional farmyard scheme with contemporary barn, farmhouse, and workers’ cottage-style dwellings to reflect the character of the surrounding area.
“And the spacing and design of the proposed buildings allows for views through the site which helps to maintain the openness of the Green Belt.”
Set within spacious plots and surrounded by landscaped grounds, the ten new homes will replace the former commercial nursery and plant centre on the site which was operated by Premier Fruits before closing in 2013. Many of the structures on the site are now unused. An attractive existing barn, which was formerly used as a farm shop, will remain at Oak Tree Farm and could be used as an office.
The Charterpoint scheme – designed by Surrey-based Omega Architects – proposed a mix of housing, including two two-bed bungalows, three four-bed homes and five five-bed homes, at one-storey, one-and-a-half-storey and two-storeys. Access would remain via Croydon Lane.
“The proposed housing is a combination of varying designs which have been developed through a detailed analysis of the local area and combining traditional and modern elements,” added Adrian Goose. “A generous landscaped shared amenity space surrounding the development has been included in the design.
“There are currently a substantial number of structures on this site at Oak Tree Farm and these proposals represent a significant reduction in the overall building volume and footprint, which is key criteria in creating a development acceptable in the Green Belt.”
Planning inspector Patrick Whelan agreed, stating that the proposed development represented a substantial reduction in the footprint and volume of the buildings and the visual effect of height on the openness of the Green Belt would be less in the proposed development than the present buildings too.
“In my view, the combined effect of the change from commercial use to residential use, together with the spacing of the houses, the retained and new informal areas of green space and new tree planting around the periphery of the site which would increase the landscaped areas in the site from 57% to 75%, would soften the development into its green setting,” he said.
“The houses would take their design cues from the rural vernacular, while avoiding slavish reproduction and repetition of house types. Across the scheme are variations in form and scale as well as architectural points of reference. With links to the public footways and access to substantial areas of communal green space, the scheme would make an attractive, welcoming and distinctive place to live.”
Charterpoint, which is based at Edwalton near Nottingham, specialises in developing sustainable housing schemes, first-class senior living accommodation, and primary care premises.
For more information about Charterpoint, visit www.charterpointgroup.co.uk