Residential scheme dismissed on appeal on heritage grounds despite absence of five year housing land supply

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The Secretary of State has dismissed an appeal seeking outline planning permission for up to 90 dwellings in the open countryside adjacent to Sherfield on Loddon, near Basingstoke. His Inspector concluded that the appeal scheme would be harmful to the setting and significance of Bullsdown Camp Scheduled Monument, harmful to the special interest and heritage significance of a Grade II listed farmhouse and considerably harmful to the significance of the Sherfield on Loddon Conservation Area, by diminishing the contribution made by the appeal site to the rural setting of the Conservation Area and to the separation of the listed farmhouse from the settlement. Whilst the harm would in each instance be less than substantial, very considerable importance and weight was to be given to the harm to the Scheduled Monument (as a designated heritage asset of national importance) and considerable importance and weight to the harm to the other heritage assets. The Inspector adopted as a "worst case scenario" for the purpose of the appeal (without necessarily agreeing with it) the appellant's position that the local planning authority's housing land supply was 2.86 years. She concluded that the public benefits of the appeal scheme nevertheless did not outweigh the harm to the heritage assets, "whether balanced on an individual basis or cumulatively". The appeal decision can be found here. Heather Sargent appeared for the local planning authority, Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council.

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