Openness loss not critical in non-green belt location

The erection of 10 dwellings on two undeveloped areas of land in Surrey was secured, an appellant successfully arguing that it would not undermine the character of the area or undermine its value for badgers.

An inspector agreed that any development would inevitably erode the openness of the site but this was not an essential characteristic which needed to be preserved as in the case of a green belt. Although the council highlighted its role as a buffer between existing housing and a railway line, this was of little value, he decided. The developed part of the site would lead to a density of 38dpha and in his opinion this would not lead to an overly cramped form of development.

In addition, substantial parts of the site would remain undeveloped and this would be transferred to a nominated wildlife group along with a financial sum to assist in its management and maintenance. This would mitigate the impact on badgers which were known to live and forage in the area. A condition was imposed requiring a wildlife mitigation and monitoring strategy to be submitted, approved and implemented.

Inspector Jon Roberts; Written representations

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