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Breach Of Section 66 Planning (Listed Buildings And Conservation Areas) Act 1990 Not A Trump Card Where There Is A Significant Housing Shortfall

Land North of West End Lane, Henfield: APP/Z3825/A/13/2205204

Inspector RPE Mellor

Date of decision: 2 June 2014

In a recent appeal decision for an urban extension of 160 homes to the north of Henfield in Horsham District the inspector found that the appeal proposals would give rise to a significant alteration to the setting of a nearby listed Grade II former farmhouse and its curtilage buildings contrary to the statutory objective of s.66 although that harm would be less than substantial for the purposes of the NPPF. Nevertheless, the inspector, when striking the overall planning balance as required by the NPPF found that the marginal harm to the significance of the asset was outweighed by the benefits of the early provision of new homes in circumstances of a local shortfall (between 59% and 64% supply) which also merited considerable weight and importance.

The decision is also helpful in the thoughtful discussion of the issues of the acceptability of various degrees of separation of greenfield urban extension sites from the existing built up area, the generic harm to landscape character and visual appearance caused by such development and the weight to be given to countryside protection policies in this context.

Mark Lowe QC appeared for the Appellants, Barratts Southern Counties, instructed by Geoff Smith of DMH Stallard

David Lintott appeared for the local planning authority

Click here for a link to the decision.