The inspector focussed on whether the site represented an appropriate location for development and its impact on appearance and character of the area. He noted the site adjoined one recently granted permission for housing in 2016, which itself immediately adjoined the settlement, one that he felt had a wide range of facilities and services as well as good access to public transport, including bus and rail networks.
Fundamentally, the inspector held the council’s policies controlling developments outside settlements related to the supply of housing and were out of date. This was even though the local plan review had been presented for examination. The inspector considered the "local plan review cannot be considered sound" and must be afforded limited weight as the latest evidence was that the council could not show a five-year supply of housing land. On that basis paragraph 14 of the NPPF applied. In balancing the impacts, the inspector felt the proposal was better screened and better contained than the site recently approved for housing next to it and was a suitable site which would not detract form the appearance and character of the area.
Inspector: Gareth Thomas; Written representations