New home would erode setting and tranquility of World Heritage Site

A two-storey dwelling in open countryside in the Lake District National Park, now a World Heritage Site, was refused for its detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the area and the significance of the heritage asset.

The proposed dwelling would be situated in an inbye identified as an iconic feature within the Lake District, in an area highly sensitive to change. The inspector felt the additional building, domestic curtilage, access and parking and ensuing domestic paraphernalia would erode the pleasing, unspoilt qualities of the inbye. It would result in an unacceptable incursion of built form into the open countryside detracting from its rural setting which was integral to the character and appearance of the landscape and to the significance of the WHS.

The appellants claimed that the property was for the children of the adjoining property to move into and support them in their old age and this constituted a "local need". But the local plan policy required "exceptional circumstances" for new development to be permitted in the open countryside, namely for a proven and essential housing need. The inspector held there was no compelling evidence for the house to be sited in that location and the desire to be near their parents was a personal one which did not outweigh a well-founded development plan objection. The inspector concluded the very limited public benefit of one dwelling was insufficient to outweigh the harm to the WHS.

Inspector: Caroline Jones; Written representations

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