Peter Goatley has successfully obtained planning permission on behalf of Gladman Developments for 150 new homes at Leonard Stanley in Stroud District.

The site is located outside the AONB but close to its boundary and the Council sought to argue a number of points of objection based on landscape impacts.

The decision by the Inspector, Mr David Nicholson, dealt with a number of interesting issues. As the Inspector noted, around half of Stroud District is within the AONB. Of the remainder, most of the land can probably be seen in views from somewhere within it. Given the need for additional housing in the area, it follows that views from the AONB are very likely to be affected by new housing development wherever it goes.

Further, whilst in extreme circumstances, a major development outside an AONB which caused a considerable harmful impact to its immediate landscape, could adversely affect an adjoining AONB, the impact found in this case was found to be less than significant.

The Inspector also considered the Council’s argument, with regard to paragraph 109 of the NPPF, that the site is a “valued” landscape, as it was valued by neighbouring residents. The Inspector noted that, currently, there is no agreed definition of “valued” as used in this paragraph. There is no formal guidance on this point that, in order to be valued, it would require the site to show some demonstrable physical attribute rather than just popularity. Further, in the absence of any relevant designation, the Inspector found that paragraph 109 is not applicable to the appeal site.

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