Land west of Limpsfield Road
The site was a resolved proposed allocation in an emerging local plan. 1.5 years HLS.
93 . I have found that the appeal proposal represents inappropriate development in
the Green Belt, which is harmful by definition. It would also cause low to a
moderate level of harm to openness and limited harm to the two purposes of
including the appeal site in the Green Belt. In accordance with paragraph 148
of the Framework, any harm to the Green Belt must be given substantial
weight, weighing against the appeal proposal.
- In terms of other harms, my findings in respect of the effect on character and
appearance, traffic and highway safety, living conditions, community
infrastructure, footpaths and bridleway, flood risk and drainage are of neutral
consequence and add no other harms to my assessment. The proposal accords
with the overall aims of the relevant development plan policies set out in the LP
and CS. Other potentially adverse effects would be overcome or satisfactorily
mitigated by planning conditions and the Section 106 Agreement.
- On the other hand, the appeal scheme would assist in addressing the acute and
persistent housing supply shortfall and would deliver affordable housing in an
area of high need. I attach substantial weight to the critically needed housing
benefits of the scheme. The appeal scheme would provide other benefits
including the re-provision of enhanced sports facilities, a net gain in
biodiversity and the accumulation of economic, social and environmental
benefits that add moderate weight in favour of the proposal. Emerging policy
also seeks to release the appeal site from the Green Belt for housing and is a
matter that adds further moderate weight in favour of the proposal. Overall, in
my view, I consider that collectively the other considerations in this particular
case are of a very high order.
Appeal Decision APP/M3645/W/22/3309334
- In that context, I find the harm to the Green Belt by reason of
inappropriateness, and any other harm identified as arising from the appeal
proposal, would be clearly out-weighed by the other considerations identified.
Accordingly, the very special circumstances necessary to justify the
development have been demonstrated and therefore a conflict with Policy DP10
of the LP, and Paragraph 148 of the Framework, would not occur. Further,
given the existence of very special circumstances, it follows that the application
of the Framework’s Green Belt policies does not provide a clear reason for
refusing planning permission.