New driveway judged alien in protected landscape

A proposal to divert a byway to facilitate a new driveway and entrance in AONB designated Hampshire countryside failed to win the support of an inspector.

The private driveway and gated entrance were proposed to serve a permitted replacement dwelling and entailed diverting a byway open to all traffic, which provided the existing access. The inspector judged the effects of the proposal on the protected landscape to be unacceptable as it would result in removal of mature hedgerow and the wide gravelled driveway with double-width gated entrance and bin collection point would appear as an out-of-keeping urbanising domestic encroachment on the countryside. In addition, in her opinion, the realigned byway would create an arbitrary line bisecting an open field rather than corresponding with the field pattern and the proposed planting of a parallel hedgerow would create an out of place tunnel-like effect that would also diminish the quality of experience for its users.

Despite the lack of objection to the proposals from organisations such as the British Horse Society and Ramblers Association, or from the council landscape officer, the inspector concluded the scheme would harm the rural character of the site, fail to conserve or enhance the natural beauty of the wider AONB landscape or the quality of public rights of way and she dismissed the appeal.

Inspector: Hannah Porter; Written representations


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