Fallback position attracts significant weight

A planning permission granted by a local authority in west Sussex for up to 130 dwellings on land subject to a similar appeal was given significant weight by an inspector who decided that it was an appropriate location for development.

The scheme approved by the local authority differed from the appeal scheme in one respect, namely the provision of a pedestrian tunnel under a railway line as opposed to a footbridge. An emerging site allocations plan identified the land as being suitable for housing. It was contiguous with the existing settlement boundary, the inspector noted, and there was no indication that the existing infrastructure and services would not be able to cope with the development. While there would be some urbanising impact on the landscape, an emerging neighbourhood plan which identified the site as forming part of a green gap was given little weight by the inspector. A tunnel or a footbridge would provide a safe crossing of the railway line and the scheme would deliver benefits in the form of new homes and public open space, the latter being available to all residents.

Inspector: Andrew Dawe; Inquiry

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