The inspector found the main issues in the case to be the impact of the proposed large-scale housing on the appearance and character of the area, the significance of heritage assets and the impact on highway safety. The inspector considered the rolling topography of the site to be a significant feature of the landscape, contributing to the setting of the settlement. He stated the loss of 3 ha of best and most versatile agricultural land was also a disbenefit. He acknowledged that a permitted scheme for 800 dwellings on adjoining land could potentially affect his concerns but he was not convinced from the evidence that that part of the scheme adjoining the propsal site was going to be implemented and therefore afforded it little weight. The inspector considered the impact of the proposal on views into and out of the nearby Conservation Area, Registered Park and Garden and listed buildings and concluded there would be a minor degree of harm to the significance of these designated assets. He found no significant impact on highway safety. On balance, he felt the propsal would cause serious impact to the appearance and character of the area and this environmental concern outweighed the social and economic benefits of the scheme, including the provision of a substantial amount of new housing which was needed in the area.
Insoector: Terry Phillimore; Written Representations