CASEBOOK: Appeal cases - Community facilities - Church fails green belt policy and traffic tests

The construction of a church with car parking in Cheshire has been dismissed on the grounds that it would be inappropriate in the green belt and would have an unacceptable impact on the openness of the area.

The inspector judged that these objections were overriding, despite the appellants' claim that it had not been possible to secure an alternative site. While acknowledging that the scheme involved the demolition of a dwelling, he noted that the church would have a footprint several times larger than this property and that part of its garden would become a car park.

He ruled that the proposal would extend the built-up area of the village. While agreeing that the church would become a landmark building, he felt that it would fail to preserve the openness of the locality. It would also encourage car-borne trips to an out-of-centre location that was not well served by public transport and would adversely impact the safe flow of traffic on an adjoining road, he concluded.

DCS No: 29586365; Inspector: David Hainsworth; Hearing.


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