Urban extension impacts outweighed by need to boost housing

Outline planning permission for up to 43 dwellings on the edge of a settlement in Surrey was granted, an inspector deciding that the loss of a greenfield site would have no adverse impact on the character of the area.

Housing rather than horse paddock use would change the character of the appeal site, he determined, but the issue was whether this would be harmful. The site had an attractive verdant character derived mainly from perimeter trees and landscaping, and an illustrative plan showed that dwellings could be set back from the road with scope for significant additional landscaping. The development’s visual impact within its immediate surroundings would be minor and he did not believe it would give rise to an overtly urban feel.

In relation to the proposed mix of open market and affordable housing the inspector acknowledged that the proportions of different types of dwelling did not accord fully with a local plan policy or strategic housing market assessment. But the differences were not so significant as to render the scheme unacceptable. Measures would be implemented to improve highway safety. The benefits of the scheme including the need to significantly boost housing land supply also weighed in favour of the appeal.

Inspector: Jonathan Parsons; Hearing

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