Readers might recall the contrasting definitions of ‘isolation’ found in two appeal decisions set out in an earlier Blog (As Eurovision approaches….) Another more recent decision (DCS Number 400-011-110) is very useful in offering some insight as to how we might clear this matter up.
This case involved the erection of a house outside a village settlement boundary. The inspector recorded that “Paragraph 55 of the Framework specifically addresses the provision of housing in rural areas. It states that housing should be located where it will enhance and maintain the vitality of rural communities by avoiding isolated homes in the countryside unless there are special circumstances. The Framework does not define the meaning of ‘isolated’.” The inspector decided that “there are two main aspects to be assessed when considering ‘isolation’, these being whether the appeal site is physically isolated relative to settlements and other built development and whether it is functionally isolated relative to services and facilities.” He did not find the site to be physically isolated but he did believe that the development would be functionally isolated.
Obvious, really, when you think about it. Might this approach be usefully employed to improve clarity and fairness in future decision-making? We hope so.
The following DCP chapter is relevant: 9.23