Revisions to golf course layout ruled acceptable

Site regrading and provision of further ancillary buildings at a proposed golf course in Hertfordshire would not have unacceptably harmful effects on green belt openness, an inspector has ruled.

An extant permission allowed an 18-hole pay-and-play golf course, clubhouse and ancillary buildings. The council’s reasons for refusing a revised scheme referred to the importation of material and land level changes to create a rainwater harvesting system. The inspector decided that changes to the land levels would reflect the undulating landscape and would not be significant, while reprofiling would not create sharp or prominent features. The course layout would preserve openness and would not conflict with the purposes of including land within the green belt, she decided. 

In considering the additional operational development proposed, including timber practice bays and a short-term construction compound, the inspector took into account the number of buildings already present on the site and others with consent. In her view, the further structures proposed would not appear intrusive and were to be expected as part of a golf course, so were clearly linked to the land use applied for. The proposal complied with paragraphs 145 and 146 of the NPPF, she concluded.

Inspector: Deborah Board; Inquiry

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