DC Casebook: Householder development - Bridge seen as unnecessary connection

The construction of a bridge across a watercourse in the West Midlands green belt has been ruled inappropriate on the grounds that it would be unrelated to a recreational or sporting use.

The appellant's home lay on one side of the river while on the other the council had granted retrospective permission for a pond. The appellant sought to connect the pieces of land via a bridge some 11m long and 2m wide. The inspector decided that the bridge would be inconspicuous from public vantage points but held that it would still reduce the area's openness and contribute to a proliferation of buildings in the countryside, detracting from its character.

The bridge was unnecessary for agriculture, sport, recreation or maintenance of the pond and associated land, she opined. Access could be gained via a public footpath, she noted. Permitting access for a tractor or other equipment might also increase domestication of the land around the pond and this would undermine green belt objectives, she concluded.

DCS Number 100-064-674

Inspector Mary Travers; Written representations

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