The appeal had arisen through non-determination. The main issue for the inspector was whether the proposal would make appropriate provision for the maintenance and enhancement of existing green infrastructure and open space at an adjoining country park. The inspector firstly noted that the same proposal had recently been heard at appeal and only dismissed on the grounds that a legal agreement was not in place to secure offered contributions to enhancing the park. In the current appeal, the appellant had submitted and completed during the application stage a unilateral undertaking to commit to pay a contribution of £150,000 towards enhancements to the park, a sum the council had now accepted.
The council’s adopted policy on the issue required new development to maintain existing green infrastructure in terms of its quantity, quality and multiple function. The site itself was not considered to constitute open space but it directly adjoined a country park which was acknowledged by the previous inspector on appeal to be in need of improvement and enhancement. That inspector also held that, given the appeal site’s proximity to the country park, the residents of the proposed 57 dwellings would seek to access that facility, resulting in increased usage of, and placing additional demands upon, it. However, the inspector concluded it had now been demonstrated and accepted that the appellant proposed a mechanism to secure those improvements and they would align with the guidance set out in the NPPF, PPG and the CIL Regulations. As such he was satisfied that significant harm identified by the previous inspector would be avoided and there would be no conflict with the adopted open space policies.
Inspector: Graeme Robbie; Written representations