Housing allowed on buffer site

An outline scheme for 40 houses beyond the settlement boundary of a Northamptonshire village was allowed, an inspector finding no harm to the character or appearance of the area.

Local plan policy restricted new development to infilling on a small scale within the existing confines of the village and that did not affect open land that was significant to the form and character of the village, the inspector recorded. She acknowledged that the amount of development would not be small scale, and that taken in isolation it would conflict with local plan policy and would result in an extension of the village into an area designated as countryside. However, within its wider context the site was contained by existing roads, industrial development and a planning permission for 200 houses, she observed. She appreciated that the council considered the site was an important buffer between the industrial use and the approved residential site. However, she had not been presented with any substantive evidence that such a buffer would be required.

The inspector noted that the primary school, library and village centre would be within walking distance of the site and that there were some employment opportunities in the village. She concluded that, whilst the development conflicted with an element of development plan policy, it would be consistent with the overall thrust of the NPPF and would not harm the character and appearance of the area.

Inspector: D Board; Written representations


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