The site was located in a predominantly residential area within the development limits of the town and the principle of residential development was not disputed. However, the district council had adopted an interim policy on the release of housing land following an extensive public consultation exercise as a result of monitoring progress on the housing strategy, drawing on guidance in PPG3.
After considering figures supplied by the council, the inspector agreed that housing land supply would be around ten per cent above the number of dwellings required during the plan period. On this basis, she was satisfied that its reasons for introducing the interim policy were well founded and reflected the plan, monitor and manage approach recommended in PPG3.
She acknowledged the appellants' statement that part of the site formed part of the curtilage of a dwelling and was therefore previously developed land. But having regard to case law, including James v Secretary of State for the Environment and Chichester District Council (1990), she held that it was necessary to examine the physical layout of land and buildings, ownership and function.
In her view, an intimate relationship with land undoubtedly within the curtilage had to be demonstrated to accept this argument. She judged that the character of the land in question had changed from domestic to a more agricultural use and did not have an intimate relationship with the dwelling.
On that basis, she ruled that it was not previously developed land.
She concluded that the proposed development would be contrary to the council's interim policy and PPG3 and that these were material considerations that outweighed the provisions of the adopted local plan. The proposal would harm the provision of housing in the district having regard to local and national policy, she ruled.
DCS No: 30357970; Inspector: Karen Baker; Hearing.