Rural housing scheme conflicts with housing strategy

An outline scheme of 25 dwellings, including affordable homes, on agricultural land outside a community hub rural settlement in Shropshire was dismissed due to countryside harm.

The parties did not dispute that a five-year supply of housing existed and development plan policy was up to date, but in terms of the distribution of housing it was apparent that there was a shortfall in rural areas and local policy sought to achieve a rural rebalance that supported development which would secure economic and affordable housing benefits.

The site was not advocated as a rural exception site and the inspector concluded that it did not achieve the objectives of rural rebalance. He also concluded that the change in character of the site from open countryside to suburban would harm the rural setting of the village. In the final balance, despite giving significant weight to the economic and social benefits of additional housing, the inspector found the adverse impact of the development in terms of the conflict with the development plan relating to protection of the countryside meant the proposal was not sustainable development and dismissed the appeal.

Inspector: Gareth Wildgoose; Hearing


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