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Installation of entrance gates across cul de sac would undermine social cohesiveness of the community (Planning Inspectorate)

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Planning permission was refused for the installation of entrance gates across a cul de sac.

The main issue of the appeal was the effect of the development on the character and appearance of the area, social interaction, community safety, crime and the fear of crime.

Applications for planning permission must be determined in accordance with the development plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise (section 70(2), Town and Country Planning Act 1990). The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is a material consideration in planning decisions. Although the council did not refer to any development plan policies, paragraphs 91 and 127 of the NPPF were cited.

Paragraphs 91 and 127 seeks high quality development that: functions well and maintains a strong sense of place; is visually attractive; creates places that are safe, inclusive and accessible; and promotes health and well-being.

The inspector acknowledged that the proposal created a tension between these two paragraphs of the NPPF. He acknowledged that although the design of the entrance gates was acceptable, and the fear of crime and resident’s health and well-being was compelling:

  • The gates would not prevent every possible means of access to the houses.
  • There were no examples, in the area, of any gates across whole cul de sacs.
  • The estate was an attractive, inclusive and welcoming place to live and visit.
  • The gates would undermine the overall cohesiveness of the community and social interaction by segregating the properties from the rest of the community and could increase the risk or fear of crime for neighbours not within the gated cul-de-sac, and their quality of life.

The inspector dismissed the appeal, concluding that overall, the gates would have a detrimental effect on the character and appearance of the area, social interaction, community safety, crime and the fear of crime, and would not accord with paragraphs 91 and 127 of the NPPF.


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Tom Warrender


Tom Warrender


Tom is a Partner and Commercial Property Solicitor with a wealth of experience acting for clients both locally and nationally since 2005.