The site lay within a designated special landscape area and comprised a number of fields at a gateway into the town. Irrespective of the scale and disposition of the landscaping, the inspector judged that it would appear as a modern addition that would be intrusive to the locality's open character and the town's setting.
In his view, this impression would be compounded by the impact on the amenity of users of the area. In particular, he found that the impact on walkers enjoying the landscape had been underestimated. Despite a need for more housing and recognition that the scheme would not prejudice the preparation of an emerging local plan, he concluded that the adverse visual and landscape effects were so significant as to justify withholding permission.
Inspector: Clive Nield; Inquiry