Following engagement with The Design Review Panel (www.designreviewpanel.co.uk), this National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) paragraph 80(e) project was granted planning permission by a Planning Inspector on the 21st November 2022, having been previously refused by South Cambridgeshire District Council.
This was an important appeal from the perspective of engaging independent Design Review Panels over those preferred by the Local Planning Authority.
Within the appeal decision the Planning Inspector states the following:-
“The Council have raised concern that their own design enabling panel (DEP), with greater local knowledge, was not used by the appellant … Regardless of whether using a national DRP or the local DEP, paragraph 133 of the Framework states local planning authorities should have regard to the outcomes and recommendations of a DRP. Whilst weight to be given to such recommendations is for the decision-maker to apportion, the Council’s case provides no rebuttal directly against the listed DRP recommendations and conclusions. I give greater weight to the DRP [The Design Review Panel] findings as a result”
Daniel Gender-Sherry, Director at Axiom Planning said:-
“There are a number of Local Planning Authorities (LPA) that think it’s acceptable to favour their own design review panel (DRP). We have been arguing for years that National Planning Policy is unbiased and what matters most is the calibre of the Panel and their ability to professionally critique the proposal before them. Not whether the Panel is local or preferred by the LPA.
This appeal decision provides a home run for anyone wishing to use an independent and professional DRP instead of an LPA’s preferred local panel. It is entirely wrong for an LPA to give “very little weight” to the recommendations made by an independent DRP, as happened in this situation and rightly so, the Inspectorate have corrected the situation.”
The design is for the erection of a single dwelling within a rural site. The relatively constrained site led to an innovative way to maximise the potential of the land.
The proposal consists of a two storey three-bedroom dwelling. With the site forming part of a former WWII RAF airfield known for De Havilland Mosquitos, the design team proposed a dwelling inspired by the famous fast bomber.
The Design Review Panel (www.designreviewpanel.co.uk) was asked to provide independent, impartial and multidisciplinary review of the proposed design on several occasions throughout the pre-planning design process and ultimately concluded that overall the scheme was a well-developed proposal of the highest architectural standards, representing a truly outstanding design. It was considered that the links to the historic use of the site in WWII, and its association with Mosquito, (aeroplane’s), results in a strong concept. It was noted the project intends to bring back to life a previously used site, in a way that would significantly enhance its setting, whilst at the same time demonstrates a sensitivity to the defining characteristics of the local area.
Richard Hawkes of Hawkes Architecture said:-
“Thank you to ‘The Design Review Panel’ [www.designrevewpanel.co.uk] for your assistance in helping to shape and develop the proposals for Mossie which we are delighted to have been allowed at Appeal following the refusal by SCDC [South Cambridgeshire District Council].
The design discussions were, as always, thoroughly engaging, conducted in an open and collaborative manner by a wide range of disciplines and experienced consultants. Through the three reviews we had with the DRP [The Design Review Panel] we were able to interrogate and refine the architectural narrative to ensure that the conceptual vision was carried through consistently in the architectural form, detail and interior of the scheme.”
Please click here to read a full copy of the Planning Inspectorate Appeal Decision.