An Appeal was allowed in December 2019, granting outline planning permission for up to 80 dwellings on land off Broad Street, Clifton. Central Bedfordshire Council had refused the application based on concerns over the effect of the proposed development on the character and appearance of the area and on the setting and identity of Clifton. The site was located within open countryside and an ‘Important Countryside Gap’ (ICG). Randall Thorp were responsible for masterplanning the site and preparing a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA). The masterplanning/LVIA process carefully appraised the site’s contribution to the ICG and local character. The findings were used to carefully shape the scheme parameters to ensure a robust and defendable scheme in this potentially sensitive location. Nicola Jacob provided landscape expert witness services for the appeal, acting on behalf of Planning Prospects Limited. The landscape evidence successfully demonstrated that the development would not adversely affect the character and appearance of the area, or the setting and identity of Clifton, with the Inspector concluding that the scheme would result in ‘significant benefits in terms of landscape enhancement and a net gain in landscape features, including a softening of the currently hard and abrupt settlement edge here’.

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