The new dwellings would replace an existing but vacant equine centre including stables and a large indoor arena and as the proposal was a redevelopment of previously developed land, the inspector held the exception stated in paragraph 145g of the NPPF was relevant. The inspector noted that although 17 dwellings were proposed, their footprint and volume would be less than the current buildings by 13.2 per cent and 6.5 per cent respectively. However, the proposed housing would occupy a greater area of the site than the existing clustered buildings and result in encroachment of built development away from the edge of the village into open countryside, which the inspector considered resulted in a loss of openness overall with a slight adverse effect. But in weighing the green belt harms, the inspector opined that as the proposal would provide for seven affordable houses to meet need in the area, paragraph 145 of the NPPF came into play and the proposal did not constitute inappropriate development overall as the harm to the green belt from loss of openness was not substantial.
Inspector: S Rennie; Hearing