News & Insights

Appeal success for housing within a Special Landscape Area


We are pleased to announce that the Inspectorate has just granted planning permission for 20 dwellings, within a SLA, on the edge of Middleton Cheney, Northamptonshire.

Manor Oak Homes had prepared a very sensitively designed scheme, for 20 dwellings, which reflected the local vernacular, on the edge of the sustainable village of Middleton Cheney. Whilst the site fell within the SLA, it did not have any particularly notable landscape features and was heavily influenced by neighbouring development.

South Northamptonshire Council refused the application, largely on the basis that the scheme was inappropriate development in the SLA, notwithstanding the fact that they accepted that the existing abrupt settlement edge detracted from the quality of the site. Their landscape witness also considered the site to be a Valued Landscape.

CSA’s Managing Director, Clive Self, presented landscape evidence at the inquiry and demonstrated that the site was of a very different character to the wider SLA, that it had a number of detracting features and that the effects would be localised. As such, it was not considered to be a Valued Landscape.

In granting planning permission, the Inspector accepted that the LPA could demonstrate a 5 year housing land supply, but recognised the benefits of the well-considered scheme.  She also agreed with our judgement, that the site did not exhibit any particularly unique qualities or rarity, and that it was simply an unremarkable small field. As such, she did not consider it to be a Valued Landscape.