Green belt infill housing approved outside village boundary

An inspector granted permission for two large detached houses outside a Cheshire village washed over by green belt after finding the site physically and functionally part of the settlement.

The council considered that as the appeal site did not fall within the village settlement boundary, a green belt policy exception for limited infilling in villages did not apply. The inspector, however, noted that the small scale development would infill an undeveloped gap within an unadopted cul-de-sac serving a limited number of properties lying outside but abutting the defined settlement boundary. She decided that the scale and location of the scheme amounted to limited infilling in a village and it was not, therefore, inappropriate development within the green belt.

As the site lay in close proximity to a range of everyday services and facilities available in the local service centre village, the inspector held this was not an isolated location and there would be no conflict with development plan spatial strategy directing new housing to accessible locations. Although the council contended that it had a five-year housing land supply, the inspector pointed out this was not a ceiling to development and the two new dwellings would support the supply and mix of housing in the local area. In this respect, whilst the neighbourhood plan identified a need for low cost and affordable homes, it did not preclude larger dwellings.

Inspector: Susan Ashworth; Written representations

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