In considering an appeal against the refusal of an outline scheme for 15 dwellings on high quality agricultural land in Derbyshire, an inspector accepted the appellant’s argument that the steep gradient of the site would limit the use of mechanical farming methods (DCS Number 400-012-416).
The appellant argued that the grade 2 quality agricultural land should be re-graded as grade 5. The inspector explained that it was not her role to determine whether the land should be re-graded as lower quality. She did find, however, that the narrow nature of the site together with the steep gradient at one end would diminish its attractiveness for more intense agricultural methods. Consequently, given the nature of the site she considered that the need for housing in the area was a material consideration which would outweigh the loss of the grade 2 agricultural land.
So, if the Agricultural Land Classification plan tells you no, have a look at the contours.
The following DCP chapter is relevant: 4.145