Houses replace green belt riding school

An inspector allowed eighteen new houses in the Merseyside green belt after assessing impact on openness in both spatial and visual terms.

The proposal involved the demolition of a variety of buildings connected with a former riding school and, retention of the farmhouse, constituting the partial re-development of a previously developed site in the green belt and resulting in a significant reduction in both the volume and footprint of new buildings on the site.

Turning to the visual implications for the openness of a narrow neck of green belt, the inspector found unjustified the council’s view that the greater height of the two storey houses relative to some of the lower level buildings on the site would result in a greater visual impact. He observed that the houses could only be viewed from some distance and against a backdrop of mature trees and rising landform. He concluded these factors would mitigate their effect, also taking into account the prominent cumulative mass of existing buildings on the site.

Deciding against alleged harm from suburbanisation of the character and appearance of the urban fringe site, highway safety concern over access visibility splays, and loss of an historic but unlisted barn, the inspector concluded permission should be granted subject to legal agreement and conditions.

Inspector: Roy Merrett; Hearing


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