Negative condition unsuitable to protect nature conservation sites

An outline proposal for redevelopment of workshops with seven houses in a predominantly residential area close to a Hampshire town centre was judged unsustainable because its recreational impacts on European designated nature conservation sites could not be mitigated.

The main issues concerned the effects of the proposed development on the local economy, the integrity of SPA and SAC sites, and the character and appearance of the area. The inspector was not persuaded that the appeal site could not continue in some form of viable employment use, and therefore found conflict with local plan policies protecting the local economy. He did not find harm to the character and appearance of the area.

Taking account of the effect of the proposed development on the integrity of habitats sites and in the absence of a planning obligation, after ruling that a negative conditiion could not be used to secure appropriate mitigation measures, in his final balance the inspector referred to paragraph 175 of the NPPF as providing a clear reason for refusing the scheme, acknowledging that the council could demonstrate a five-year housing land supply. The proposed development did not therefore benefit from the presumption in favour of sustainable development and the inspector dismissed the appeal.

Inspector: Martin Small; Written representations

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