Impact on landscape character and heritage assets acceptable

The erection of 16 houses on the edge of a Gloucestershire town was approved notwithstanding the council's claim that it would impact on the setting of the settlement, the Cotswold AONB and various heritage assets.

The appellant relied on the council’s inability to demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land, and a report by a planning officer referred to a strategic housing land availability assessment which identified the site as potentially being suitable for development. It would also deliver eight affordable dwellings for which there was significant need.

The site comprised an undeveloped field, an inspector observed, and a scheduled ancient monument lay to the northeast and contained a range of listed buildings which contributed to the historic setting of the town. However, the scheme had been carefully designed to concentrate built development adjacent to the settlement boundary and a mix of dwelling types and sizes were proposed reflecting the local vernacular. Open views towards the east would be maintained therefore retaining the pastoral character of the landscape and with minimal impact on the setting of the heritage assets. Views from public footpaths would be filtered through trees and while some of the housing would be capable of being seen in the same view as the heritage complex this would not be significantly harmful.

There was also a need to improve the delivery of housing in the district and a local housing needs study clearly indicated a high demand for affordable units, with 51 households having a relevant connection to the town. The appellant had dealt with other issues relating to the impact on protected species and flood risk and consequently the appeal was allowed.

Inspector Gary Deane; Written representations

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