|The application site lies outside the settlement boundary as defined under policy SWDP2 of the South Worcestershire Development Plan. The site is therefore defined as open countryside where development shall be strictly controlled. Under normal circumstances, the proposed development would fail to accord with the provisions of policy SWDP2 part C of the SWDP. In this case, however, a fallback position has been established to allow residential use on the site, by the grant of prior approval for the conversion of the agricultural building on the site (under reference 23/00962/GPDQ ). This is a material factor in the determination of the planning application.
The proposed new dwelling would be in a rural location. With regards to locational sustainability, given the lack of a footway link and streetlighting along the rural lane that leads to the nearby settlement, the development would likely to be reliant on the private car for practical day to day activities and movements from the site. This is contrary to the sustainable objectives of the NPPF and would weigh significantly against the proposal.
The proposal is not considered to comply with Policies SWDP21 and SWDP25 of the adopted South Worcestershire Development Plan due to the increased site area, urbanised design, sprawl and materials, which would detract from the rural character of the site and appear incongruous, and in comparison to the prior approval conversion under Class Q, would not assimilate with the area’s rural character.
Overall, it has not been demonstrated that there are visual, landscape, highway safety or other environmental grounds to justify the scheme as an alternative to the fallback position established by the Class Q consent.
In addition, the scheme undermines the aim of prior approval legislation to allow the conversion of rural buildings to provide residential development in the countryside, whilst at the same time preserving its rural character and appearance and minimising the need for new build accommodation.