Plans to demolish two homes on a site in Sutton and build nine flats that were initially rejected by Sutton Council have been overturned.

Amicus Land and Properties’ proposals were turned down last November before the Government’s Planning Inspectorate granted them permission via appeal on May 30 this year.

This not the first time planning appeals, nor plans, have been submitted for the site in Langley Park Road amid frustration over the latest ruling.

“I do not consider the bulk of the proposed building to be either overly prominent or incongruous with the general form of development in this area,” inspector Jonathan Price said in his report.

“The council’s decision refers to the National Planning Policy Framework. This attaches great importance to the design of the built environment.

“Whilst cautioning against the imposition of architectural styles and particular tastes, the Framework states that it remains proper to seek to promote or reinforce local distinctiveness.

“However, there is not a strongly coherent design character to the housing in this area.”

Amicus wishes to knock down the two homes and build seven two-bedroom flats and two three-bedroom homes with available parking.

The report further stated that the proposal would ‘respect’ the local context and ‘respond adequately’ to local character.

It continued that the planned building was of ‘suitable’ scale, massing, and height relative to its setting.

In his conclusion, he said: “The proposal meets a need for family-sized apartments and makes a modest but significant contribution to supporting housing supply requirements in London.

“The development would be of a satisfactory standard of design and of no material harm to the character and appearance of the area.

“For the reasons given, I conclude the appeal should be allowed.”

Councillor Richard Clifton, of the Sutton South ward, claimed to be ‘outraged’ by the decision by the Planning Inspectorate.

He said: “We want high standards in our ward and could envisage a more attractive development than this proposal.

“My concern is with the outcome but also with the system.

“The Planning Inspectorate seems to me to have a bias in favour of development, come what may, and it seems wrong that local decisions taken by locally elected councillors reflecting a local plan can be overturned by a remote body with no further right of appeal."

Councillor Tony Shields, also of the Sutton South ward, does not agree with the outcome but also pointed to the borough’s affordable housing targets as another problem.

He said: “It’s always upsetting, or less than favourable, when the inspectorate doesn’t agree with the local decision. It’s true.

“However, sometimes the whole point of going to the inspectorate is like going to the High Court. You get the purest form of planning decision.

“It’s the test of the legal process.

“[But] what annoys me in Sutton is we time and time again ignore the Mayor’s [Sadiq Khan] guidelines on affordable housing targets.”

Six of the last nine planning applications submitted for 83 Langley Park Road involving the building new flats have been refused by Sutton Council, according to the authority's website.

The other three were either accepted, withdrawn, or came to a non-determination.

To see the decision, click here and search the reference: APP/P5870/W/17/3189625