Village open space impacted by single dwelling

Plans to erect a dwelling on land forming part of an area of open space in a Bedfordshire village conservation area failed to win support with an inspector who decided that it would lead to a fundamental change in the character of the locality.

The inspector noted that the appeal site was not accessible to the public but nonetheless it formed part of a wider area which contributed to the form and history of the village. It comprised an open agricultural field providing a break in built development which was an important feature of undeveloped land, adding to the character of the conservation area. The scheme would lead to an inevitable change in its character due not only to the house itself but domestic features including a driveway and more formal garden layout.

The design of the house itself, designed to level six of the code for sustainable homes, was not particularly exceptional. The main structure, much of it underground, would be in the form of mounded up earth which would also be used to construct some of the block walls. Such construction techniques were not particularly innovative. Nor was the use of large areas of glazing particularly unique such that the benefit in designing a zero carbon dwelling did not outweigh the adverse visual impact.

Inspector Graham Dudley; Hearing

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