More than half of the appeal site and two adjoining fields already had permission for residential development. The appeal proposal was accompanied by a section 106 unilateral undertaking stipulating that if permission for the scheme were granted and implemented, the balance of the land currently benefiting from permission would not be developed.
The inspector noted that the portion of the site for which permission had not previously been granted was not allocated for housing and represented a very significant extension of development into the countryside unrelated to any built-up area. He found that it was a considerable distance from a main road and was separated from existing and new housing development by a wide belt of woodland and sharp changes in level. It would have an unidentified boundary and would be surrounded by open countryside, he observed.
He was unconvinced that the appeal proposal provided any clear advantages over the permitted scheme. In his view, it would result in a fragmented and poorly integrated pattern of development that would significantly encroach into a rural area, breaching planning policies that sought to minimise urban sprawl and protect the character and appearance of the countryside.
DCS No: 100039174; Inspector: David Sheers; Inquiry.