Homes consent upheld in valued landscape claim

The High Court has supported an inspector's decision to allow up to 126 homes in Gloucestershire after finding that he correctly assessed whether the site lay in a "valued landscape".

The inspector (DCS Number 200-004-524) decided that a valued landscape is considered of value because of "particular attributes" that have been "designated through the adoption of a local planning document".

As the site was not subject to any such designation, he decided that localised harmful landscape and visual effects did not outweigh the scheme's benefits. Mr Justice Hickinbottom noted that the National Planning Policy Framework draws a distinction between "valued landscape" and land that is nationally designated. A landscape is "valued" if it has physical attributes taking it out of the ordinary, he suggested. He found that the inspector had been entitled to conclude that the appeal site had no landscape features that elevated it out of the ordinary.

Case: Forest of Dean District Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government; Date: 4 October 2016; Ref: [2016] EWHC 2429 (Admin)

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