The appeal site was located on previously developed land within the village development boundary in the saved policies of an existing local plan but was immediately outside of the more recently adopted neighbourhood plan boundary. The inspector held the proposed house would represent an enhancement in the appearance and character of the area and conservation area over and above that of the ramshackle storage sheds it would replace. Whilst the inspector accepted there was conflict with the NDP following from the provisions in Section 38 (5) of the 2004 Act, he could find no harm arising from the proposal and could not understand why the site was excluded from the settlement boundary in the NDP in the first place.
In addition, whilst the NDP sought new homes to meet its housing target on two allocated sites in the plan including one for 35 homes immediately adjoining the appeal site, the inspector said this was not a maximum target and one more house would represent a small-scale development which would not affect the overall character and growth of the village. He considered the allocation for new homes immediately adjoining the appeal site diminished the latter’s possible contribution to the character of the wider countryside.
Inspector: Robert Mellor; Written representations