Medieval links undermine housing development

Eight houses on the site of a former trout farm on the edge of a Lincolnshire village were rejected when an inspector found the site historically associated with a scheduled ancient monument.

While core strategy policy supported windfall development in the large village, the council considered development of this particular site would intrude into the landscape setting of the earthwork remains of a medieval priory on the opposite side of the river, and harm local character by extending built development into the countryside.

The inspector noted the evidence of trench investigations pointing to the appeal site having archaeological interest as well as historic interest as part of a wider landscape associated with the medieval monument. He gave considerable weight to comments by Historic England that development would make the site unrecognisable as part of the former priory and its associated historic landscape, or as part of the non-designated post mediaeval abbey parkland overlaying the area. The limited intervisibility between the site and the overgrown earthworks with intervening riverbank trees did not alter the inspector’s conclusion that considerable, albeit less than substantial, harm to the designated heritage asset would result. He did not consider the moderate public benefit of eight new homes sufficient to outweigh this harm.

In relation to local character, the inspector found that building on the site would be at odds with the characteristic form of the village and also harm its rural setting and the surrounding countryside. Together with the heritage harm he had identified, the inspector concluded the site would not be an appropriate location for housing and dismissed the appeal.

Inspector: Geoff Underwood; Written representations

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