The site lay on the edge of a settlement. The council accepted that a planning policy which imposed a moratorium on development in such locations could be given only moderate weight because it was not consistent with the NPPF. In accepting this point, the inspector disagreed with the council’s claim that the vets would not be a community facility because it was a sui generis use. In his opinion the council’s emerging plan did not define community facilities by use class and since the parties agreed that the emerging plan should be afforded significant weight, this supported the scheme in principle.
The impact on the landscape and visual amenity of the area was acceptable. But the inspector expressed concerns about the flood risk assessment provided by the appellant. While the sequential test was passed, the site comprised a mixture of flood zones 1, 2 and 3. He could not be sure that the building could be designed in order to ensure that it was above the 1 in 100 flood year event with a 35 per cent addition for climate change. A detailed flood risk map was not available given a lack of data and accordingly the extent of the functional floodplain was not accurately known. This uncertainty was sufficient for the appeal to be dismissed.
Inspector: Nick Davies; Hearing