• Appeal dismissed at Westhayes, West Hill

    28th May 2012 | News | Claire
  • The application, for parkland next to Eastfield, is outside West Hill’s built-up area boundary and was refused in December.

    The appeal is the first in my ward to be published since the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework, in March.

    Planning inspector, Mike Robins heard the appeal on 21 March and his decision, published today, puts visual intrusion issues at the top of the agenda.

    He said:  “I consider that the main issue in this case is the effect of the proposal on the character and appearance of the area and the setting of the village of West Hill.”

    Mr Robins continues:  “I disagree that the site retains a garden character.  The parkland element merges into the open countryside and delivers an important transition from the village to the countryside.  While its visibility from a distance is limited, as is much of the village, it is clearly perceived in views from the public footpath that runs along the southern boundary of the site.”

    …“and although there is a tree belt here, the development would be visible for much of the year and would be perceived as a considerable extension to the village.”

    “The interim policy statement (which relates to a policy to help provide affordable housing by building outside built-up area boundaries) seeks development that is well related to, complements and is compatible with the built form of the village. 

    “In light of my findings on the value of the land to the setting of the village I do not consider that this scheme complies with the interim policy statement in this regard.

    “It would not be sufficiently well related to the village.”

    Photograph:  The parkland subject to a planning application at Westhayes, West Hill.