Site judged remote from services despite proximity to town

An inspector rejected nine houses on land between a village and small town in the Devon countryside, deciding a reliance on private cars to access services counterbalanced a presumption in favour of development.

There was no dispute that the NPPF tilted balance was triggered, with policies most important for determining the application being out of date because the council could not demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land.

The open countryside location of the site ran contrary to development plan spatial strategy. The appellants, however, drew attention to the proximity of the site, at around 1.6 km fixed line distance, to facilities in a neighbouring town, and to case law, in an effort to demonstrate the location of development could be regarded as sustainable and a broad interpretation of planning policy taken in this respect.

The inspector had regard to the highway authority consultation responses which deemed increased pedestrian use of a footway alongside the busy main road linking the site to the town to be unsafe, and access to bus routes required crossing the very busy road. The inspector decided sustainable means of transport could not be relied upon, such that the site was unsuitable for residential development as it would be remote from services and not in an accessible location. The proposal would conflict with development plan and NPPF policies in this respect and these concerns outweighed the benefit of housing and the inspector dismissed the appeal.

Inspector: Janet Wilson; Written representations


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