Woodland training centre held too remote

The retention of wooden structures associated with a Devon forestry and woodland management training business has been rejected because they did not fulfil sustainable development principles.

The structures, which were raised on stilts, provided various facilities including storage and covered accommodation used in connection with educational forestry courses operated by the appellant. The site was remote from the main settlements in the district and access by means of transport other than cars was very limited.

The inspector noted that national advice in PPS7 seeks to promote a diverse and robust rural economy. The educational courses provided by the appellant were of considerable socio-economic benefit to the community, he opined. However, he observed that the facilities attracted a large number of people from a wide area and held that the appellant could have chosen a less remote site that was more accessible by public transport.

He accepted that the business could not operate without the structures. While the sustainability arguments were finely balanced, he decided that the appellant's failure to assess more accessible sites for the educational facility weighed against the scheme. When considered in conjunction with the proposed use of a substandard access road, he held that the appeal must be dismissed.

DCS Number 100-050-648

Inspector Simon Miles; Hearing.

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