The site benefited from a planning permission which authorised the erection of a dwellinghouse extending to approximately 1,000m2. The appellant stated that this would be implemented should the appeal be dismissed. He also drew attention to the proposed design which would have a similar scale, mass and layout to the permitted dwelling and a further benefit related to the non-erection of a large six-bay garage. The council nonetheless asserted that a care home would result in greater activity thereby undermining the openness of the green belt.
There was no doubt that the scheme involved an inappropriate form of development which would have an urbanising impact given the site’s rural character. However, it was very well screened by trees and the omission of the large garage meant that the development would have slightly less impact on the openness of the area. Nor would it materially increase the level of activity compared with a very large dwelling already permitted.
Its ability to provide 20 full-time jobs also counted significantly in its favour despite the relatively remote location which made access other than by car quite difficult. There was a need to make provision for those in need of care and it would have no greater impact on protected bird species than the extant consent.
Inspector Peter Willows; Written representations