Locally important landscape designation fails to prevent housing expansion

An appeal site in Kent which lay within an area of local landscape importance was insufficient to prevent an inspector from allowing an appeal for up to 90 dwellings.

In the inspector’s opinion the policy was not intended to restrict the supply of housing but rather was focused on protecting the character and functions of landscapes on the urban fringe. The policy required a balance to be struck between harm and the social and economic benefits. Since the site lay within the area designated as locally important paragraph 109 of the NPPF applied. The inspector decided that ithe proposal would lead to the urbanisation of the countryside on the edge of the settlement. Set against this was the substantial shortfall in housing land supply and the economic and social benefits, with 25 per cent of the units being affordable. Accordingly, the harm to the local landscape did not outweigh the benefits of the scheme.

Inspector: Chris Preston; Inquiry

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