CASEBOOK: Appeal cases - Leisure and entertainment - Motel rooms judged harmful to village setting

A proposal for 14 motel rooms in two detached accommodation blocks at a hotel in a Leicestershire village conservation area has been refused because it would neither reflect the existing form of the village nor preserve the character and appearance of the conservation area.

The site was beyond the village settlement boundary but within the conservation area. Although the settlement boundary crossed the car park, the inspector was satisfied that it marked clearly the transition between the built-up area of the village and the open countryside beyond. He judged that the two additional accommodation blocks would result in the linear projection of built development onto land clearly outside the confines of the village.

He concluded that the scheme would adversely affect the rural setting and landscape of the surrounding countryside. He also found that rather than being integrated with the existing buildings, the development would significantly enlarge the extent of the built form of the hotel into the surrounding countryside.

The inspector accepted that the hotel was an important business and tourist facility as well as a source of employment. However, he concluded that the tourism advantages of the proposal did not outweigh planning policies seeking to protect the countryside from unnecessary development and preserve the character and appearance of the conservation area.

DCS No: 30749958; Inspector: Stephen Pratt; Written representations.

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