GSP was initially instructed to draft a planning statement and submit and manage an application on behalf of their client for the erection of a windfall detached dwelling in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) just beyond the village confines of Flimwell.

After receiving a recommendation of approval from Council planning officers, Councillors opted to overturn this recommendation and refuse the application.

GSP was subsequently instructed to appeal against this decision and acted on behalf of the client including attending and advancing the case for the development at an informal hearing.

The Inspector acknowledged that the proposed detached dwelling was small with a very modest footprint, whilst the conversion of an existing outbuilding would not add to the scale or prominence of the development. He also considered that the layout of the development would respect those directly to one side. Given this and the retention of the many mature trees that lined the perimeter of the client’s wider land ownership, the visual impact of the development would be confined to the client’s land. He agreed with GSP and found that it would not be harmful to the visual transition between the settlement and the wider countryside and that it was compliant with the relevant AONB Management Plan. It would conserve the landscape and scenic beauty of the AONB, taking account of the site’s limited contribution to the key characteristics of the AONB, the contained nature of the site and the small scale of the proposal. Through the imposition of conditions it would be possible to bolster the verdant character of the site, leading to enhancements, rather than harm.
Having not established any harm to the AONB, and taking into account the authority’s 2.79 year housing land supply, the Inspector found that the benefits outweighed the disbenefits, the latter being limited to the site being outside the settlement boundary with poor access to services and facilities. As a result of this conclusion, the appeal was allowed.

For this project, GSP worked alongside co-consultants relating to ecology, trees and architecture and design.

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