Statement: Meyer Homes appeal against the refusal of planning permission for 705 homes and ancillary uses at the Former Government Offices site, Tolworth

On 06 July 2016 the Council refused Outline Planning Permission (reference 15/10074/OUT) for:

Outline application (means of access only) for 705 residential dwellings (Use Class C3) with associated other ground floor uses including class A1 (Convenience Retail Store)/ A3 (Cafe)/ D1 (Doctors Surgery)/ D2 (Day Nursery/ B1 (Office) floor space with associated car parking and a bus interchange.

The application was refused for the following reasons:

  1. The proposed development by reason of the scale and density required to deliver 705 units, would be out of keeping with the character and appearance of the surrounding area. The development would thereby conflict with Policies DM10, SB1 and T1 of the Core Strategy.
  2. Insufficient evidence has been submitted to demonstrate that the development would not have an adverse impact on the local highway network or local on street parking conditions. The development would thereby conflict with Policy DM9 of the Core Strategy.

The applicant, Meyer Homes, has lodged an appeal against the refusal of planning permission with the Planning Inspectorate. The appeal is due to be by means of a Public Inquiry on 25 April 2017. The Public Inquiry is currently scheduled to sit for 6 days

In preparation for the Public Inquiry the Council has obtained advice from leading Counsel. In a meeting on Wednesday 1 February 2017 - which was exempt to the public due to the legal advice not being allowed to be in the public realm - the Development Control Committee considered the advice received from leading Counsel. In light of this advice the Development Control Committee resolved:

  1. To authorise the Head of Planning and Regeneration not to defend Reasons for Refusal 1 & 2 associated with the refusal of Planning Permission reference 15/10074/OUT subject to the agreement of appropriate conditions and a S106 legal agreement.
  2. For the Head of Planning & Regeneration to immediately undertake the following:

a.    To request that the appellant withdraws the appeal and submits an identical application for the Council to determine.

b.    Should the appellant refuse to withdraw the appeal, to request to the Planning Inspectorate that the appeal be determined by way of Written Representations rather than a Public Inquiry.