Consent has recently been granted on appeal Rutland for developer Jeakins Weir, for 100 dwellings on the edge of Oakham. FPCR produced the LVIA and gave evidence at the Hearing. The Inspector awarded costs against the local Authority for (amongst other things) landscape. Normally landscape is seen as a more subjective area, where local members can exercise their judgements, sometimes against officer recommendation. For this scheme the council had taken external landscape advice, and the response was that it was an appropriate landscape led scheme, and that it would improve the approach to Oakham.
The inspector in his decision described the evidence in respect of landscape, consisting of the LVA and its independent review as “compelling”, and that the defence of the appeal against this evidence was largely unanswered by the council. In the costs decision the inspector noted the councils “vague and unsubstantiated assertions” regarding landscape, rather than grappling with the evidence provided, including from the council’s own advisor. The inspector considered this to be unreasonable behaviour. The decisions can be read here.