Is it just us, or is this one something of a game-changer?

Here is the story: an Essex council granted permission in 2008 for greyhound kennels in countryside identified as a special landscape area (SLA). That permission was never implemented and a bungalow was built instead. Retrospective permission for the bungalow was denied at appeal in 2011. Permission was sought again last year and this time it was granted at appeal (DCS Number 400-010-072).

The inspector found that the bungalow had a limited impact on the character and appearance of the area, being perceived as part of a wider enclave of built development which included a complex of farm buildings. He accepted that the site was in a relatively remote rural location, with poor accessibility, and a limited range of local services nearby. However, he held that this should not automatically preclude further housing development, as long as it could be adequately assimilated without causing harm to the character and appearance of the locality. He reasoned that significant parts of the district were predominantly rural and that a realistic approach was therefore required. The position with regard to housing land supply was contested but the inspector held that, whatever the position, the dwelling made a small contribution to the supply of housing.

So, does a realistic approach to housing supply mean that we have now arrived at the point where we can delete all of the following, once held so dear?

protection of the countryside for its own sake

development to be directed away from designated areas such as SLAs

housing generally precluded outside settlement boundary

development to be sustainably located

The following DCP chapter is relevant: 9.23

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