Houses harm setting of listed mansion

An outline scheme for 41 dwellings on formal playing fields within the parkland setting of a former school in Derbyshire was rejected by an inspector.

The site lay in the grounds of a grade II listed mansion. Evaluating impact on the setting of a historic building, the inspector noted the court judgement in Steer v SSLG 2017, which clarified that setting is not determined by a visual or physical connection when considered against the broad NPPF definition of surroundings in which a heritage asset is to be experienced.

The inspector decided that whilst the nature of the landscape had changed through the creation of the cricket pitch and football pitch, overall, the integrity of the parkland had not been diminished or eroded. The parkland retained its intrinsic and historical association with the hall although the grounds had been altered prior to listing. In the inspector’s opinion, landscaping would take too long to establish to offset visual impact or compensate for loss of openness. Giving significant weight to the benefit of housing, the inspector concluded this benefit did not outweigh significant harm to the setting of the listed building and dismissed the appeal.

Inspector: Caroline Mulloy; Written representations

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