Residential scheme would lead to coalescence of settlements

An outline scheme which sought up to 60 dwellings in Essex was dismissed due to it failing to keep open a local green gap.

The appeal site was part of an open field which lay within a local green gap. An inspector found that the considerable depth of the appeal site behind a road frontage meant that there would be a significant incursion of built development into the gap. As such the development would unacceptably erode the open nature of the local green gap and weaken its role in separating built-up areas. Although an affordable housing planning obligation was directly related to the development and was fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind, due to the absence of any adopted development plan policy or guidance in support of the requirement, the inspector was not persuaded that it was necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms.

The council conceded that there was only a 2.9 year supply of housing, taking into account a 20 per cent buffer, reflecting a record of persistent under delivery of housing in the district. The provision of up to 60 dwellings was found to assist in boosting significantly the supply of housing within an area where there was a shortfall and considerable weight was given to this factor. However, as the proposal would result in significant harm to the character and appearance of the area arising from intrusion into the local green gap the scheme was dismissed.

Inspector: Claire Victory; Written representations

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