Strategic gap reduction perception held not to be significant

The perception in a gap between two settlements on Teesside was held by an inspector not to be significantly, who also ruled that it was important not to confuse the effect on a view with harm to the identity of the settlement.

In terms of its contribution to the gap the inspector decided that the appeal site was not an important open space or environmental asset. The scheme would lead to the physical loss of space between the two settlements but would not lead to a coalescence nor compromise their respective identities. The general public would continue to perceive the settlements as individual and distinct entities. The site, comprising greenfield land, had a rural character but otherwise did not have any intrinsic landscape value, the inspector concluded.

With regard to housing the inspector ruled that the council had yet to establish the objectively assessed need. Consequently, it was not possible to determine whether a five-year supply of land was available. As a consequence the relevant policies for the supply of land were out of date and the presumption in favour of sustainable development was engaged. The delivery of up to 130 dwellings, given the limited harm, supported his decision to allow the appeal.

Inspector: Peter Rose; Inquiry

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