Lack of formal designation does not diminish adverse impact on character

Outline permission for 80 dwellings and associated open space has been refused in open countryside on the edge of a village in Somerset on the grounds of unsustainable development, despite a lack of five year housing land supply.

The inspector held the proposed housing would consitute unsustainable development on the grounds of adverse impact on character and appearance of the area, detriment to adjoining residential amenity and inaccessibility to local services other than by private car. He considered the pastoral character and appearance of the area to be important despite its lack of formal designation and the area to be one of transition between that of higher land and the Somerset levels themselves. He did not consider the development would create a "resolved edge" to the village or that existing poor built form was a "benchmark" for future development. He found the proposal to be at the extremes of acceptable distances for walking and cycling and existing and proposed linkages unlikely to promote sustainable forms of travel. Finally he felt the proposal would detrimentally affect the light, privacy and outlook of existing residents living nearby. Whislt he acknowledged the lack of housing supply he did not consider this outweighed his concerns regarding the sustainability of the scheme.

Inspector: Richard Schofield; Inquiry

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