The inspector held the proposal, to bridge the dock and extend over the water, would be inappropriate development in metropolitan open land, a designation receiving the same level of protection as green belt in the London Plan. He assessed the site to be previously developed land but with little existing built form the two storey proposal would harm openness and the exception allowed under the first limb of NPPF paragraph145 green belt policy would not be satisfied. The proposal would also be clearly visible from the adjacent riverside path and park, with limited screening, and have a greater impact on openness than the existing, albeit unattractive, development.
The inspector found no very special circumstances to outweigh this harm, judging a fallback of an extant permission for a restaurant on the site to have a similar effect on the openness of the MOL but without the added concerns of flood risk and a housing mix which did not make provision for family housing in accordance with council policy. He concluded the appeal should be dismissed.
Inspector: Darren Hendley; Hearing