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Outline Application in Cambridgeshire


Shotbolt Engineers Newtown Road Ramsey


Proposed Development: Outline application for 10 x 2-storey dwellings with all matters reserved except access.

Outline application for 10 x 2-storey dwellings with all matters reserved except access.

Shotbolt Engineers Newtown Road Ramsey

Ref. No: 17/01024/OUT | Received: Sat 13 May 2017 | Validated: Tue 06 Jun 2017 | Status: Approved



Following an initial planning inquiry the applicant wanted to maximise the development potential of a former engineering works in Ramsey, Cambridgeshire.  EN-PLAN were able to secure Oultiner Planning Approval and improve the commercial value of the site significantly through the planning process.  Please see the below for the background to the site and the planing assessment.

Ramsey is a small market town located in Cambridgeshire, England. It is situated approximately 9 miles north of Huntingdon and 20 miles east of Peterborough. Ramsey is part of the Huntingdonshire district. The town of Ramsey has a long history dating back to the medieval period. It was an important center for trade and commerce, and it still retains some of its historic charm today. Some notable landmarks in Ramsey include the Ramsey Abbey Gatehouse, which is the only surviving part of the ancient Ramsey Abbey, and the Church of St. Thomas à Becket, a medieval parish church. Ramsey is surrounded by picturesque countryside and is known for its rural beauty. The town offers various amenities and services to its residents, including shops, schools, healthcare facilities, and recreational opportunities.

The site and Surroundings

The site is a former industrial works located approximately 0.4 miles north of the centre of Ramsey
Town Centre. The site is located on the east side of Newtown Road. The site is located at the edge of
a residential area with the properties of Millfields adjacent to the east and further properties on
Newtown Road to the south. The west of the site borders further industrial works, whilst to the
north-east of the site is open countryside.The site is accessed off Newtown Road via an existing access point between 80 and 84 Newtown Road.

What is the Policy cocerning residential development on brownfield sites?

Planning policy regarding residential development on brownfield land can vary by country and even by local jurisdiction within countries. However, I can provide an overview based on the general principles and policies from the UK as of my last update in September 2021. Please note that you'd need to consult your local authority or local planning documents for the most up-to-date and relevant guidance.

In the UK:

  1. Brownfield First Policy: The UK Government has often advocated for a 'brownfield first' approach. This means that when local authorities plan for housing and other development needs, they should prioritize brownfield sites (previously developed land) before considering greenfield land (land that has not been previously developed).

  2. Brownfield Land Registers: Local authorities in England were required to maintain and publish regularly updated brownfield land registers. This was intended to provide clarity on brownfield sites available for housing locally.

  3. Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development: The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in England established a presumption in favor of sustainable development. For brownfield land, this often means that unless there are strong reasons against it, the land should be considered suitable for development.

  4. Protection of the Environment: Not all brownfield sites are immediately suitable for residential development. Some might be contaminated from previous industrial uses or might be of high environmental value. In such cases, remediation and environmental assessments might be necessary.

  5. Incentives: The UK government has in the past introduced various incentives and funding mechanisms to encourage the development of brownfield sites. This includes financial support for site preparation and infrastructure provision.

  6. Density: Brownfield sites, especially in urban areas, are often encouraged to be developed at higher densities to make the most efficient use of the land.


It's essential to understand that while the general push is towards developing brownfield sites before greenfield, each site will still be considered on its individual merits, and other material considerations can influence planning decisions.

If you're looking at a specific country or local area outside of the UK, I would advise checking the local planning policy documents or consulting with planning professionals in that jurisdiction.

The Planning Evaluation

The Oultine Application sought approval of the details of the access, scale, layout and appearance for nine
dwellings. The outline permission was for ten dwellings and also sought permission for landscape
details but the current application has been amended since it was first submitted and an improved
layout has now resulted in a reduction in the number of dwellings proposed to nine and the agent
requested that landscaping be removed as insufficient details had been submitted. The application
description was therefore revised to reflect the omission of landscaping as a reserved matter for

The dwellings are arranged in two groups: the first five detached dwellings are sited to the rear of 80
Newtown Road facing the new internal access; the second group comprises two pairs ofsemi-detached d posed dwellings are two storey and faced in buff brick with fibre cement tiled roofs. All rear gardens are a minimum of 11m in depth.

As set out in the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (Section 38(6)) and the Town and
Country Planning Act 1990 (Section 70(2)) in dealing with planning applications the Local Planning
Authority shall have regard to the provisions of the development plan, so far as material to the
application, and to any other material considerations. This position is repeated in the NPPF. The
development plan is defined in Section 28(3)(b) of the 2004 Act as “the development plan documents
(taken as a whole) that have been adopted or approved in that area” – See Planning Policy section
The report addresses the principal, important and controversial issues which are in this case:
* Principle of development
* Access and Highway Safety
* Design, including matters of appearance, layout and scale
* Amenity

Principle of development

The principle of residential development has already been established with the granting of planning
permission reference 17/01024/OUT. This reserved matters application seeks approval for the
appearance, layout, access and scale of the development following permission 17/01024/OUT
which approved the principle of ten dwellings on the site. As the principle of development on the site
is already established, the proposed development for nine dwellings, fewer dwellings that the outline
consent permitted, is acceptable.

Access and Highway Safety

The site is to be accessed from Newtown Road via an existing access point between 80 and 84
Newtown Road. The Local Highway Authority has commented on the application and has confirmed
that it has no objections to the proposed access details subject to conditions. Some of the requestedconditions relating to access width, visibility splays and the submission of drainage details are the
same as those appended to the outline permission (i.e. conditions 18, 21 and 23) and therefore it is
not necessary to repeat these conditions.
If you would like more information on highways matters pelase refer our dedictaed highways page.

The proposed layout includes two parking spaces for each dwelling. Whilst sheds are indicated
within the rear curtilages of the dwellings, precise details of cycle parking provision and bin storage
have not been provided and shall therefore be secured by condition to ensure compliance with Policy
LP16 of Huntingdonshire’s Local Plan to 2036.

Regarding access, including highway safety and the level of parking provision, it is considered that
subject to conditions, the details are acceptable in accordance with Policies LP16 and LP17 of
Huntingdonshire’s Local Plan to 2036 and the NPPF (2019) in this regard.*Design, including matters of ap earance, layout and scale Policies LP11 and LP12 of Huntingdonshire’s Local Plan to 2036 require developments to respond positively to their context, draw inspiration from the key characteristics of its surroundings and contribute positively to the area’s character and identity.


The application site is set back behind the road and so will not be prominent in the street scene. In
addition, the site lies within a residential area where there is a mix of sizes and styles of property.
The layout has been improved since the application was first submitted and the HDC Urban Design
Team is now satisfied that the design details are acceptable. The scheme has been amended
several times during the lifetime of the application.

The scale, layout and appearance of the proposed development responds appropriately to the site
and to neighbouring development and it is considered that the development would contribute
positively to the area’s character and identity. The mix of detached and semi-detached properties
would accord with the typology of the built form in the locality. The use of open porches and chimney
detailing reflects the characteristics of dwellings in the area. The proposed materials are considered
acceptable in principle and are subject to a condition on the outline permission requiring the
submission of details. A further condition is required regarding architectural details such as the
position and colour of meter boxes, details of window reveal depths and flue and vents details to be

Overall, it is considered the proposed dwellings would contribute positively to the area’s character
and identity and would not have a significant adverse impact upon visual amenity. Subject to the
imposition of conditions, it is considered that the proposed development would accord with Policies
LP11 and LP12 of the Huntingdonshire Local Plan and guidance within the Huntingdonshire Design
Guide and the requirements of the NPPF.


The NPPF (2019) and Policy LP14 of the Local Plan seek to protect amenity of neighbouring users
and future occupiers. The NPPF 2019 outlines that planning decisions should always seek to secure
high quality design and a good standard of amenity for all existing and future occupants of land and

The outline permission established that the site could be developed for ten dwellings. As a result of
concerns regarding the reserved matters submission, this has now been reduced to nine dwellings.
Officers have fully assessed the impact of the development with regards to amenity, including
matters of overlooking, overshadowing, overbearing impact and loss of privacy on existing residents
and on the amenities of future occupiers.

Objections were initially received from occupiers of a neighbouring property, but these issues have
been resolved through amendments to the scheme, including a reduction to the number of dwellings.
The internal layout and interface distances are such that it is not considered that the proposed
development would give rise to any significant loss of amenity to any neighbouring occupier and that
the future occupiers of the proposed development would enjoy a high standard of amenity.
The proposed dwellings would achieve good levels of surveillance and where necessary would
include windows to the ground floor which would achieve appropriate surveillance over their
respective parking areas.

The proposal is therefore considered accord with Policy LP14 of the Huntingdonshire Local Plan to
2036 and the NPPF 2019 in this regard. IIssues such as ecology, drainage and archaeology are addressed via condition attached to the outline permission and therefore do not require further consideration. The matter of landscaping shall require the submission of a further application for reserved matters. A reserved matter for
‘Landscaping’ means the treatment of land (other than buildings) for the purpose of enhancing or
protecting the amenities of the site and the area in which it is situated and includes—
(a) screening by fences, walls or other means;
(b) the planting of trees, hedges, shrubs or grass;
(c) the formation of banks, terraces or other earthworks;
(d) the laying out or provision of gardens, courts, squares, water features, sculpture or public art; and
(e) the provision of other amenity features.
These matters shall therefore be considered in detail in due course.


The principle of development was established at outline stage. This application deals with the details
of the access, layout, scale and appearance only of the proposed development. These details have
been found to be satisfactory in accordance with the requirements of both local and national planning
policy. Having regard to all relevant material considerations, it is recommended that approval be
granted for the reserved matters of appearance, access, layout and scale, subject to the imposition
of appropriate conditions.

Further Development associated with this site:

How En-Plancan help you with obtaining outline planning consent.

Outline planning permission is useful where the principle of building a residential property on a plot has not yet been established. If outline planning permission is granted it will have to be followed up by a full planning application.  En-Plan can help you in establishing the principle of development as we can apporaise the siteand formaulate a plan to

If OP is granted it will have ‘reserved matters’ attached to it. These are conditions that will have to be met by a full planning application.

If the land you have identified a parcel of land and would like to explore the development potential of it please CONTACT US for a free no obligation consultation.

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