Emerging plan prevents homes in shortfall area

The impact on coalescence, landscape and loss of prime agricultural land has led to the refusal of 150 homes in the green belt near Edinburgh.

The reporter held the main issue to be compliance with national and emerging local policies that took into account situations where there was a shortfall in housing land supply. The site was located at the edge of a village surrounded by a green belt designation and was not identified as having housing potential in either the South East Scotland Strategic Plan or the emerging local plan for the area.

The emerging local plan had been through examination and was considered up-to-date, so was afforded significant weight. Both national and emerging local policies stated that, where there was a housing shortfall, infrastructure provision and the need to protect the objectives of the green belt and landscape character should be considered.

The reporter found that the proposal did not comply with the last two considerations as it would result in coalescence and conflict with the open space aspect of the green belt by negatively affecting the character of a nearby canal and towpath. 

He felt it would also represent a protrusion into the surrounding agricultural land that would be out of keeping with the settlement’s landscape character. The loss of prime Class 2 agricultural land was also contrary to paragraph 76 of the Scottish Planning Policy, he held. The reporter concluded that the environmental harms outweighed the social and economic benefits of the new housing and was unsustainable development.

Reporter: David Liddell; Written Representations

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