In Use or abuse we queried the meaning of ‘significant’ in the context of Paragraph 112 of the NPPF, which relates to the loss of agricultural land.
An inspector dealing with an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for 28 dwellings in Leicestershire has given us the answer (DCS Number 200-006-606).
“The proposed scheme would result in the loss of 2.58 hectares of grade 3 agricultural land to development” the inspector recorded. “Land within grade 1, 2 and 3a is defined in the glossary to the Framework as being the best and most versatile agricultural land. In preference to the development of this type of land the use of land of poorer quality is encouraged by paragraph 112 of the Framework. This government policy though relates to proposals involving the development of significant amounts of such land. The view of the Council, expressed in its Development Control Report on the application, is that the development of less than 20 hectares of such land is a low amount of land. I agree with that position.”
So there we have it. ‘Significant’ in the context of Paragraph 112 of the NPPF means 20 hectares. For the time being.
The following DCP section is relevant: 4.145