The pumping station was just outside the built-up part of the settlement, an inspector observed. The main above ground elements were a vehicle hardstanding, two metal control cabinets, a lighting column, and an enclosing 2m high timber fence. However, there was housing development nearby and there was a mobile home park on an adjacent paddock. The appellant argued that, because of the form and layout of the existing development, there was a clear expectation that further development would take place on the remainder of the paddock.
In the inspector’s opinion, the compound detracted from the open appearance of the countryside on the edge of the village, although, because of its modest size and its proximity to the built-up area its impact was limited. He agreed with the appellant that the provision of the pumping station was a logical, sensible, practical and sustainable measure for draining the whole of the paddock area. However, he reasoned that there was no evidence that it was needed at present. Whilst the appellant’s assumption that the remainder of the paddock would eventually be developed was not unreasonable, there was no guarantee that it would happen and without such certainty, there was no public benefit to set against the harm to the open character of the countryside.
Inspector George Arrowsmith; Written representations