Planning permission granted on appeal near Ormskirk, West Lancashire for the demolition of 6 agricultural buildings and the conversion of 7 former agricultural buildings to create 12 dwellings
Emery Planning has secured full planning permission for the demolition of 6 agricultural buildings and the conversion of 7 agricultural buildings to create 12 dwellings at Downholland, near Ormskirk. The development was subject to extensive discussions before West Lancashire Council refused the application citing 4 reasons for refusal which are summarised as follows:
1. The development would result in new isolated homes in the countryside and delivery of market housing outside of a settlement in a non-sustainable location.
2. It has not been demonstrated that the buildings are of permanent and substantial construction and capable of conversion to residential use without major change.
3. The proposed development constitutes inappropriate development in the Green Belt that detracts from the visual amenity of the Green Belt.
4. The applicant has failed to robustly demonstrate that the site is unsuitable for on-going viable agricultural use.
An appeal was lodged and determined by way of an informal hearing. On 17 December 2019 the Inspector allowed the appeal and granted full planning permission.
The Inspector concluded that whilst the development would not be physically isolated, it would be some distance to shops and services. However, the proposal would comply with one of the exceptions listed at paragraph 79 of the NPPF to allow isolated new homes by reusing redundant and disused buildings which would result in an enhancement to the setting of the site. Furthermore, the Inspector concluded that the buildings are of permanent and substantial construction and capable of conversion to residential use which would comply with paragraph 146(e) of the NPPF and would not conflict with the purposes of including land in the Green Belt. Therefore, the development would not be an inappropriate form of development in the Green Belt and would not harm openness or detract from the visual amenity of the Green Belt; indeed there would be a positive enhancement. Finally, the Inspector concluded that the buildings were not suitable for a viable on-going agricultural use. The proposal to create housing on this site would not conflict with national or local planning policy or guidance and on that basis full planning permission was granted.