Unique urban open space protected from erosion

A development of 28 market and five affordable flats in four three-storey detached blocks on a small part of a wider area of open grassland close to the commercial core of a Yorkshire suburb failed to win the support of an inspector.

The inspector recorded that the open space created a significant positive feature in the conservation area, being in pastoral use since the post-medieval period, and unique in todays densely populated urban area. In her opinion, the dominant height and bulk of the proposed development would obscure views of trees that provided a sylvan backdrop to the open space and would also substantially erode an open space appreciated by the local community.

The use of traditional materials and sympathetic local vernacular did not overcome the conflict of a proposed set back building line and out of keeping layout with a locality where properties generally aligned with street frontage, in the inspector’s opinion. Nor did the provision of public open space compensate for the loss of a visually important open space, albeit without public access. The inspector concluded that the public benefits, including additional housing where a five-year supply could not be demonstrated, were insufficient to outweigh harm to area character and a designated heritage asset. She dismissed the appeal.

Inspector: Elizabeth Pleasant; Hearing

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