FPCR have played a leading role in two landmark High Court decisions which have together helped in clarifying the definition of locally “valued” landscapes in relation to paragraphs 109 and 113 in the NPPF.
The practice were the lead design and landscape consultants for the two residential schemes at Leonard Stanley and Tutshill, both of which were allowed following public inquiries. Phil Rech and Gary Holliday gave evidence on behalf of the applicants, Gladman Developments Ltd. Mr Justice Ouseley confirmed in relation to Leonard Stanley that the Inspector was correct to find that the site needed to exhibit demonstrable physical attributes which would take the site beyond mere countryside to be “valued” even when not formally designated. Mr Justice Hickinbottom has now reinforced this finding in relation to Tutshill, where once again the Inspector concluded that the site was not a “valued” landscape because there were no attributes there which took it beyond mere countryside – a finding for which there was eminently sufficient evidence.
In both cases, FPCR utilised Box 5.1 from the GLVIA3 to systematically address the landscape attributes of the respective sites. Mr Justice Hickinbottam acknowledged that the Inspector at Tutshill had before him the GLVIA box 5.1 criteria used in reaching the landscape value assessment to reach his ultimately robust judgement.
Peter Goatley of Number 5 Chambers led both cases on behalf of Gladman Developments Ltd.