Film industry benefits would not outweigh harm to green belt

Change of use for an equestrian training centre and visitor/guest accommodation from agricultural buildings and the erection of equestrian facilities and a manege has been refused in open countryside in Buckinghamshire mainly on the grounds that it would harm the green belt, the Chiltern Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and be detrimental to highway safety.

The inspector found that the significant increased built form at the 15ha appeal site would result in a reduction of openness and encroachment into the countryside, contrary to the purpose of including land within the green belt. She also found that while the extent to which the proposed development would be visible from the public realm would be limited, the new buildings and ménage proposed would harm the scenic beauty of the AONB. Other considerations were the lack of connections to the site by sustainable modes of transport to which she afforded some weight and the detrimental effect of increased HGV movements at and near the site on highway safety, to which she afforded considerable weight. Whilst she acknowledged the positive economic benefits of the scheme for the film industry and local economy, she felt these were greatly outweighed by the harm it would cause.

Inspector: Jessica Graham; Inquiry

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