Housing at important buffer zone a non-starter

Six detached bungalows were refused in County Durham for unacceptable harm to the appearance and character of the area, urbanisation of the countryside and piecemeal erosion of an important gap.

400-026-185 (Image Credit: Durham CC)
400-026-185 (Image Credit: Durham CC)

The appeal site lay between the edge of a village and a business park and had housing opposite it. But the site lay outside the development boundary set out in the adopted local plan and the inspector held, despite the housing opposite, it formed an important open space and buffer between the village and the business park and provided a clear demarcation between the developed and undeveloped parts of the village.

The inspector considered that new housing in this location would extend the village further into open countryside, harming its character and would have a negative visual impact from highly visible key vantage points on an adjoining bridleway. The significant loss of an established hedge for the access to the site was also a concern for the inspector as they considered it positively contributed to the semi-rural character of the area and was of significant amenity value. Although not believing the proposal would result in coalescence itself, the inspector held the proposal would result in the piecemeal erosion of an important gap between this village, another village and the business park. The inspector found conflict with the adopted local plan policies and paragraph 127 of the NPPF and refused the proposal.

Inspector: A M Nilsson; Written representations

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