Casebook: Appeal cases - Housing: New Build - Sports field loss scuppers housing development

The demolition of a football clubhouse and the reuse of the land for residential purposes in Essex has been ruled unacceptable because the proposed replacement playing fields were harmful to the character of the area.

The appellant proposed to develop replacement playing fields on the edge of an urban area. The inspector concluded that the playing fields would lead to other structures being built, including goal posts and floodlights.

The pitches would not be visually prominent but the associated paraphernalia would harm an area of unspoilt landscape, she held.

With this conclusion in mind, the inspector decided that building houses on the clubhouse and pitch would lead to the loss of an important recreational and sporting facility. It would also degrade the urban environment by removing a visually important open space, she ruled.

DCS No: 35048541; Inspector: Sue Turner; Hearing.

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