Incursion into countryside inevitable to meet housing need

An inspector allowed an outline proposal for 108 houses and 30 percent affordable homes outside the settlement boundary of a sustainable Lincolnshire village, in the absence of a five year supply of housing or environmental harm.

Extant permission for 49 dwellings on a part of the site embedded in the village edge had been permitted as a natural rounding off of the settlement. The council objected to the larger development extending into the countryside as harming the character and appearance of the village and its rural setting, and damaging the significance of a listed church and windmill. The inspector, however, decided an extension of development into the countryside was an inevitable consequence of meeting identified housing need in the district. Finding sufficient separation to safeguard heritage assets and only moderate harm to the setting of the village and a landscape without valued status, the inspector considered the benefits of development outweighed such limited harm and allowed the appeal.

In so doing, the inspector acknowledged a local perception that existing services were operating under stress, but stated that it was clearly the case that new housing was urgently required to meet an identified need, and took account of an executed section 106 contribution towards health care provision in reaching his decision.

Inspector: David Richards; Written representations

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