Outline Application for 50 dwellings on land to the north of Lanthorn Stile, Fulbourn. Planning Ref. S/1442/15/OL
Appeal dismissed and planning permission is refused.
The above planning application for housing on Green Belt agricultural land was registered on 4 June 2015 by the land owner. South Cambs District Council failed to determine the application within the statutory period (and no extension of time was agreed) resulting in an appeal being lodged by the applicant on the basis of non-determination.
It is stated in the Appeal Decision Notice that the Council was not minded to support the proposal. The Inspector turned down the Appeal citing the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which states that inappropriate development is, by definition, harmful to the Green Belt and should not be approved except in ‘very special circumstances’. After consideration of the potential benefits of the development to which some weight was given, the Inspector found that there were no ‘very special circumstances’ that would justify approval. The identified harm to the openness and purposes of the Green Belt was accorded ‘substantial weight’, the significant alteration to the existing character and appearance of the area was accorded ‘considerable weight’, while the loss of good quality farm land was accorded ‘moderate weight’. The Inspector also found that there was no firm obligation by the appellant to provide affordable housing and the necessary village infrastructure contributions.
In addition, regarding the presumption in favour of ‘sustainable development’ in the NPPF, the Inspector found that the proposal failed in some respect the three dimensions of sustainable development – environmental, economic and social. He therefore deemed the proposal not to be sustainable development.
The Inspector was of the opinion that “……the historic pattern of development along the main roads adjoins the open countryside and the open land forms a key part of the character of the area. By providing an open setting to the Conservation Area it positively contributes to its value as a heritage asset……
but the urbanisation of the site would clearly alter the setting and erode the historic relationship of the village with the open countryside beyond.”
Fulbourn Forum submitted a response against the original planning application (as did the Parish Council and other villagers) and is pleased that this important part of Fulbourn’s Green Belt protection will remain. An approval here, against long-term South Cambs planning policy (the site has not been identified for development in the emerging new Local Plan), would have put enormous pressure for development on other Green Belt fields surrounding the village.
Fulbourn Forum for community action / firstname.lastname@example.org