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Dorset Planning Appeal Win in IOWA Designated Area

Updated: Apr 23

We are delighted to have received an appeal decision granting outline planning permission for seven new dwellings on a greenfield site on the edge of Shaftesbury, Dorset formally designated as an Important Open Wooded Area (IOWA).




Our clients had owned the land for several generations. Still, they had consistently been told by the Local Planning Authority that it was not suitable for development, not least because it was designated in the Local Plan as an ‘Important Open or Wooded Area’ (IOWA).


Salmon Planning Company was initially instructed to conduct a planning appraisal to determine whether the council's negative pre-application advice was correct.


Subsequently, we visited the site and reviewed the policy context. From this assessment, we formed the view early on that the site did have development potential. We were confident that we could demonstrate that the IOWA policy designation in the 2003 Local Plan was out-of-date and that the impact of a carefully designed scheme would not harm the key characteristics of the local area.


Our approach was comprehensive and meticulous. We assembled a project team, drawing on the expertise of specialists in ecology, arboriculture, highways, and drainage matters. Our in-house team of architects prepared the supporting plans, demonstrating how the site could be successfully developed. This comprehensive approach ensured we were well-equipped to handle the site's planning issues.


The application was submitted in January 2022, and following careful negotiations with the Planning Officer, we gained a recommendation for approval. Still, regrettably, local opposition led to the application being refused by the Planning Committee.


Despite this setback, we remained convinced we had a robust case and immediately lodged a planning appeal. In February 2024, a Planning Inspector agreed that the development was acceptable and granted outline planning permission.


This case illustrates the benefits of obtaining professional advice from a chartered planning consultant. Salmon Planning Company’s team of experienced planning consultants, who work closely with in-house architects, understands that the Council often provides pessimistic advice at the pre-application stage. Our experience and understanding of planning policy and law can often override this negativity and achieve positive outcomes. At Salmon Planning, we specialise in finding solutions to planning problems to achieve the optimal outcome for all our clients.


Please get in touch with us if you would like to discuss any plans you may have with us. We would be delighted to have an informal chat.




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