Village extends into visually contained field

An outline proposal for up to 80 new houses outside a Leicestershire village was given the go-ahead after an inspector found limited landscape harm.

The site comprised an agricultural field to the south of and abutting the settlement boundary. The inspector ruled that adopted policy and spatial strategy resisting development in this location were out of date in view of the council’s housing land shortfall, and only very limited weight could be given to an emerging local plan and a draft neighbourhood plan which excluded the land from chosen housing sites.

The inspector accepted that the field was valued by local residents but was in no doubt that it wasn’t part of a valued landscape in national policy terms. Given the visual containment of the site with hedgerows, and use of conditions to secure the retention and enhancement of existing boundary vegetation, the inspector was satisfied that the development would not intrude into the wider rolling farmland countryside.

In the final decision-making balance, after finding the loss of some nine acres of best and most versatile farmland would have only a marginal economic impact given that it was part of a wider 1,000 acre agricultural holding, the inspector concluded limited localised landscape harm would not significantly and demonstrably outweigh the significant benefits of market and affordable housing and allowed the appeal.

Inspector: David Wallis; Inquiry

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