The countryside site lay outside of defined settlement limits, bordered by a main road and railway line, and had an unmanaged appearance occupied by a storage container, shed and greenhouse. The outline proposal involved creating vehicular access along a section of a circular recreational footpath.
The inspector decided the undeveloped site and existing trees formed part of the visual gateway into the town, making an important contribution to the setting of the edge of the urban area. Development would, in her opinion, extend development into the countryside and damage the character of the footpath and wider gateway. The council could demonstrate a five-year housing supply and the inspector concluded the proposal conflicted with national policy protecting the intrinsic beauty and character of the countryside and the locally defined settlement boundary, which was not outweighed by an accessible location.
Inspector: Rachael Bust; Written representations