Quashed appeal leads to second failure in green belt

Following a decision of the high court to quash a previous appeal involving the construction of a new dwelling in the Tyneside green belt, a second inspector agreed that the scheme did not meet all the tests laid down in paragraph 55 of the national planning policy framework (NPPF).

The appellant accepted that the dwelling, sited within a field, would constitute inappropriate development and would reduce the openness of the area. But he asserted that it met the requirements of paragraph 55 in that it would involve a truly outstanding design, of exceptional quality which would significantly enhance the setting and be sensitive to the defining characteristics of the locality.

In making her assessment the inspector accepted that the design of the dwelling based on a ‘fallen leaf’ was innovative and in the round the building would be outstanding and innovative. It would also ‘fire the imagination’ of other designers, reflecting the highest standards of architecture and would enhance the setting of an open field. But the proposed building and other design elements did not respond to the lie of the land and he concurred with a design panel’s assessment which concluded that the design did not grow out of the site but had been imposed upon it. In arriving at the planning balance the inspector accepted that most of the policy tests were met but given the high quality landscape within which the site lay and its impact on both the openness and visual amenity of the green belt, the appeal had to fail.

Inspector: S Papworth; Hearing

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