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Moredon Bridge, West Swindon – 50 dwellings

In May 2014, Emery Planning secured planning permission on appeal for Wainhomes (South West) Holdings Ltd for 50 residential units, 14 of which would be affordable on land at Moredon Bridge, West Swindon.

In May 2014, Emery Planning secured planning permission on appeal for Wainhomes (South West) Holdings Ltd for 50 residential units, 14 of which would be affordable on land at Moredon Bridge, West Swindon.

The site comprises 1.7 hectares of grassland which adjoins a residential development of 200 dwellings. Part of the appeal site is a protected ecological habitat of calcareous grassland and is a Site of Nature Conservation Interest.

The issue was whether the loss of this grassland could be mitigated by one of the methods put forward by the appellants. The Inspector considered that the calcareous grassland at the appeal site would be likely to be in a poor condition and its loss in comparison with other sites where better quality land would be found would not be as significant. This was assessed against a tool known as DEFRA’s ‘Biodiversity Offsetting Pilots.’

One of three proposed ecological mitigation schemes or methods put forward was considered by the Inspector to be acceptable that would provide adequate compensation for loss of calcareous grassland. This was to manage and improve around 3 hectares of poor quality grassland located adjacent to a primary school in Bradford-on-Avon.

The Inspector stated that taking into account recent planning permissions for housing, the Council cannot demonstrate a five year supply of housing as required by paragraph 47 of the National Planning Policy Framework. He stated that taking all matters into consideration the proposal would not cause any demonstrable harm and should be approved.

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