Ellonby Common saved from damaging development

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We are relieved about the rejection of a development which would have damaged Ellonby Common, five miles north-west of Penrith in Cumbria.

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has rejected an appeal from Mr J Wilson for a bungalow in a field next to Gill Forge, Ellonby. The site adjoins the common and the development included the construction of a driveway across it. The application was initially refused by Eden District Council in September 2010, but the applicant appealed to the secretary of state.

The planning inspector, Anthony Lyman, on behalf of the secretary of state, wrote in his decision letter: ‘The scale and design of the substantial single-storey dwelling would be incongruous…The proposed development on this greenfield site would have a significant detrimental impact on the attractive open countryside. The harm of the visual appearance of the area would also be exacerbated by the proposed surfacing of the mostly grass track across common land….the driveway would be a discordant and detrimental feature crossing this prominent and attractive open area on the approach to the village’.

We objected to the appeal because we were concerned that this development would have encroached upon registered common land, which is integral to this lovely landscape. Commoners have rights to graze animals here and the public has the right to walk. The proposed bungalow would have suburbanised this attractive spot, and we are pleased that it will remain undisturbed.

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