The 5.6 metre high columns were proposed to illuminate existing tennis courts contained within and separated from the gardens by a high brick perimeter wall and strong landscape buffer, offering little inter-visibility between the two and sufficient separation such that the setting of the listed villa and the special character of the registered park and garden would not be harmed, in the inspector’s opinion. The public health benefits of providing increased sporting opportunities and lack of publicly accessible alternatives provided factors outweighing some limited harm to the character or the appearance of the conservation area arising from some views of the floodlights.
The appeal site also lay within an area of metropolitan open land but the inspector did not consider the floodlights to be inappropriate development subject to openness being preserved. The inspector accepted that although the floodlights would have a visual presence, their height, number and scale was limited and would not materially harm the openness. Overall, she concluded that some limited harm to the conservation area was justified and that the proposal was not inappropriate development within the metropolitan open land. Taking all other matters into account, she decided the appeal should be allowed.
Inspector: Alison Scott; Written representations