The site formed part of a much wider area of open countryside and could be accessed via a bridleway. Although local residents valued the space, the inspector held that it did not amount to a "valued landscape" as defined in paragraph 109 of the National Planning Policy Framework. In her view, the inclusion of a network of footpaths throughout the scheme, mainly along established field boundaries, would allow more active appreciation of the local landscape.
On that basis, she took the view that the proposal would not reduce public enjoyment of the network of green spaces. Nor did she consider that loss of grade 3b agricultural land comprising 27 per cent of the site would cause significant harm. Overall, she concluded that the proposal represented a sustainable form of development.
Inspector: Frances Mahoney; Inquiry