Following a 6 day public inquiry, planning permission and listed building consent has been granted on appeal for three new homes at Great Moreton Hall, a Grade II* listed building in the Cheshire Green Belt together with the renovation of the Walled Garden.
The application proposed the demolition of three existing buildings within the Walled Garden, the repair and reinstatement of the Walled Garden and the construction of three new dwellings elsewhere in the estate.
The Inspector found that the new homes would cause ‘less than substantial’ harm to the significance of the Hall by impacting views of it. However, there were heritage benefits through the restoration of the Walled Garden and demolition of incongruous buildings. As such the Inspector concluded that the considerable public benefits would outweigh the less than substantial harm to significance and that the proposal was acceptable in heritage terms.
It was common ground between the parties that the development was inappropriate in the Green Belt. The Inspector also found that the development would cause significant harm to openness and clear conflict with Green Belt purposes which attracts substantial weight. He also considered that the proposal would result in moderate harm to landscape character and minor harm with regard to the appropriateness of the location. However, he concluded that the conservation benefits would clearly outweigh the harm to the Green Belt and any other harm including harm to listed buildings. Very special circumstances were therefore found to exist to justify the proposal.