The appeal site had the benefit of planning permission for angling use and the new buildings would provide self-catering accommodation and a new toilet/storage block to support that use. The retail units would comprise fruit and veg, butchers, craft, anglers and microbrewery shops housed within an existing stable. There was some contention betwen council and appellant over whether the proposal formed an exception to inappropriate development under paragraph 145 of the NPPF regarding the provision of appropriate facilities and re-use of buildings to support the angling use. But the inspector held that irrespective of whether the new buildings proposed were appropriate facilities, he felt their design, scale, height, massing and position would not preserve the openness of the green belt and conflicted with local and national policy. Whilst he acknowledged the re-use of the stable complied with exception policies, he considered the intensification of the retail use and consequential increased parking proposed would result in a loss of openness which would be harmful to green belt objectives.
In contrast, although the council had objected to the shopping provision outside of a centre, the inspector considered that it was of such a small scale as to comprise diversification and would support the nearby village which had no such facilities. However, he also considered the intensification of the use of the surrounding unlit, narrow country lanes leading to the site could result in vehicular and pedestrian conflicts, harmful to highway safety. In the planning balance, the inspector held there was insufficient special considerations of public benefit to justify the green belt harm and other harm to justify the proposal.
Inspector: A Parkin; Written representations