Village extension would markedly alter pastoral landscape character

In dismissing an appeal for up to 60 dwellings on an area of open pasture on the edge of a Hertfordshire village an inspector was not convinced that the scheme would maintain the prevailing undulating valley landscape.

The village was attractive, occupying a rural setting with a compact core of historic interest, the inspector decided. The undulating, rural landscape was interspersed by relatively small distinct settlements and although the appeal proposed a low density layout with large areas of open space and landscaping, the number of dwellings planned would not easily be assimilated without harming the setting of the settlement and wider landscape. There were clear views of the site from nearby houses and local footpaths, and built development would harm attractive vistas and countryside views. New planting would take up to 15 years to have any real impact, the inspector held. The absence of a five-year supply of housing and social and economic benefits did not outweigh this significant harm.

Inspector: Christine Thorby; Inquiry

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