An emerging site allocation plan identified the land as a potential housing site for up to 20 dwellings and the appellant argued residential development in this location would not undermine the overarching sustainability objectives of the current plan. Whilst recognising that housing requirements are not a cap on development, and as the council could demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land, the inspector saw no reason to deviate from the current strategy and the emerging plan was at too early a stage to carry more than limited weight.
The proposal would conflict with an up-to-date plan-led approach to the location of housing and the inspector concluded that the site would not provide a suitable location for the proposed housing. She also found the scheme would be an urbanising encroachment into the countryside, diminishing a visually important local gap and the rural setting of the village and its conservation area. In her assessment of the planning balance, the benefit of a boost to market and affordable housing did not outweigh the harms identified and she dismissed the appeal.
Inspector: Caroline Jones; Hearing