Urbanising effect of houses criticised

An outline proposal for fifty houses on undeveloped land on the edge of a Kent market town was rejected by an inspector because it would urbanise the setting of a conservation area and intrude into the countryside .

The inspector observed that the undeveloped site lay in very close proximity to the boundary of a conservation area that derived its significance from a mainly open character, including landscaped parkland, and contributed positively to that appearance, such that the proposed development would have an unacceptably urbanising effect. Taking into account the notable benefit of new homes and twenty affordable houses in a district with a housing land supply shortfall, the inspector nonetheless concluded harm to the designated heritage asset provided a clear reason for refusing the development in accordance with NPPF paragraph 11 and footnote six. The inspector also found that the development would extend built form into the open countryside setting of the town, causing additional harm to rural character and appearance.

Inspector: Helen Miles; Hearing

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