After an eight-year search, the appellants claimed that the appeal site was the only suitable location allowing the buildings to face south, affording maximum flexibility in constructing ecologically friendly properties. The windows would maximise solar gain, coupled with a high standard of insulation, solar panels, a ground source heat pump and rainwater harvesting.
The reporter decided that the majority of these benefits could be achieved on urban sites or through conversion of existing buildings. He also saw a fundamental contradiction in the appellants' approach since it involved developing a pristine greenfield site. This was a limited resource and incapable of being replaced, he remarked.
In his view, the buildings would sit above a wooded area unrelated to the appellants' existing property and undermine the area's character and appearance. This factor reinforced his concerns about the unsustainable location of a site that would be remote from main population centres.
DCS Number 100-064-371
Reporter Edward Hitchings; Hearing