Incursion into countryside rejected

An inspector decided that a windfall development of twenty-three houses outside a Dorset growth town should be refused permission after balancing housing needs against landscape harm.

The greenfield site lay outside the settlement boundary of the town but the inspector was in no doubt that this policy was out of date in light of a shortfall in supply of deliverable housing. However, in his view, the site read as part of the countryside setting of the hilltop town and even the low density development proposed would spread housing across the whole site and encroach into open and attractive countryside, harming the distinctive and sensitive character of the scarp slope, contrary to local plan policy and failing the NPPF requirement to recognise the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside.

In the final balance, the inspector decided that although the Framework presumption in favour of sustainable development applied to the scheme, adverse impacts in respect of landscape and suburbanisation of the setting of a conservation area and listed drinking trough outweighed the benefit of housing with a proportion of affordable housing above policy requirement.

Inspector: David Wyborn; Written representations

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