Extra care bungalows compromise green barrier without compensatory benefits

The construction of 20 bungalows associated with an established extra care facility in north Wales would unacceptably harm a green barrier, an inspector decided, whilst also ruling that very special circumstances in favour of the scheme had not been demonstrated.

The bungalows had been designed to support independent living, with the appellant providing a rapid response service in times of emergency. In support of the development the appellant claimed that the low density nature of the scheme would not cause urban sprawl nor unduly reduce the openness of the area. In any event the council was unable to demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land and there was a need for the type of specialist accommodation proposed, it was claimed.

Openness was not simply about visual impacts the inspector decided but about the absence of development that would cause urban sprawl. In her opinion 20 bungalows would involve a significant amount of built development, extending the settlement into the countryside. The absence of a five-year supply of housing carried significant weight and the site occupied a sustainable location, the inspector acknowledged. Nonetheless, the inappropriate nature and the harm to the green barrier coupled with a potentially adverse impact on bats, led her to conclude that the appeal should be dismissed.

Inspector: Kay Sheffield; Hearing

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