Appeal allowed for 4 dwellings in Vale of White Horse

McLoughlin Planning has successfully challenged the decision of Vale of White Horse District Council to refuse Permission in Principle for the redevelopment of a farmyard to provide up to 4 dwellings, in the village of Shellingford.

This decision is important because it hinged on the definition of “infill” and how it is used in the Local Plan to control development in non-green belt locations in the District, especially in small villages such as Shellingford.

The Council’s case was based on the fact that the redevelopment of the site was not infill (as in an undeveloped gap in an otherwise built-up frontage), relying on recent appeal decisions elsewhere in the District (in the green belt) to support its position. However, we were able to successfully argue that given the location of the farmstead, flanked by other forms of development on either side, it was part of the village. A point accepted by the Inspector, who also commented that comparisons with green-belt definitions of infill were of “limited relevance”.

It might seem a minor point, but it’s a key part of the Local Plan’s ability to regulate development in ‘smaller villages’ which are the smallest defined settlements in the District. What this decision allows, by virtue of concluding on what infilling means, is to allow for the development of small sites in villages, thus allowing modest levels of housing to take place, supporting the critical small housebuilding sector and allowing village vitality to be maintained.

At McLoughlin Planning, we promote both large and small housing sites in a variety of locations. The continued vibrancy of rural communities is a cause which is close to our hearts and new housebuilding is an important part of that. If you’d like to discuss the case in more detail or a similar proposal, please contact Nathan McLoughlin on 01242 895008