Urban green space protected from housing development

Outline approval for up to 102 dwellings, including 30 percent affordable, within a growth town in Northamptonshire has been withheld by an inspector who found considerable harm in terms of landscape, visual impact and green infrastructure.

The site comprised green fields within a valley, forming part of an established network of open spaces and also designated an environmentally important open space, even though no public access was available. Taking account of the significance of the appeal site within the green infrastructure corridor, the inspector considered that the scheme would compromise its integrity and so conflict with joint core strategy policy. He also noted it would be contrary to the NPPF promotion of the vitality of urban areas and conservation and enhancement of the natural environment.

The council could demonstrate a marginal 5.1-year housing land supply, and on that basis, despite the housing and economic benefits of the development, the inspector concluded the environmental harm of the proposed development meant the scheme was not sustainable development as set out in paragraph 14 of NPPF and dismissed the appeal.

Inspector: L Gibbons; Inquiry

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