Residents of Hunwick Celebrate as Appeal Dismissed
Residents of the village of Hunwick are celebrating after a planning Inspector dismissed an appeal for a proposed specialist care home in the centre of the village. Prism Planning had advised the local residents. It is the second time villagers have had cause to celebrate as Prism also helped the same residents overturn the original officer recommendation to approve the development. Steve Barker of Prism Planning originally addressed Durham’s Planning Committee on behalf of the residents and persuaded all of the Planning Committee that the scheme should be refused because of the impact of the scheme on the quality of village life. The Committee’s decision was subsequently taken to appeal. The residents now hope that this is an effective end to the matter and normal village life can be resumed.
The case was notable for its focus on the fear of crime and antisocial behaviour in a tight knit community. With Prism’s assistance, the village was able to persuade the Inspector that care homes had given rise to identified increases in crime and antisocial behaviour in other areas and that as a consequence the villager’s fears were founded upon a credible position. The impact of this on community cohesion was found to be unacceptable. The decision sends out a very clear message about taking realistic community fears into account when considering the long term impacts of such developments.