A worrying “No”:
An application to construct 1380 houses at Quarrendon Fields on the edge of Aylesbury has been REFUSED  – because of the “undue harm” it would cause to the landscape, the setting of a Scheduled Ancient Monument and regionally important below ground remains. http://ow.ly/d/ykz  Whether you agree with it or not you can at least be confident the decision was produced through a fair and rational process since we are told it drew extensively on the methodology of The English Heritage Guidance on Setting.

So why is it worrying? Because it is likely to be one of the last of its kind. As the Secretary of State pointed out, the National Planning Policy Framework wasn’t yet in force so was “afforded little weight.” But as we all know the NPPF will be in force very shortly and will be imposing “a presumption in favour of sustainable development” in all such cases. What price a fair and rational assessment process based on The English Heritage Guidance on Setting then?!

A depressing “Yes”….
At the same time permission was sought to erect an adjoining wind turbine – and was GRANTED. No surprise there, these days. But this remark from the Inspector is depressing: “The wind turbine is unlikely to be visually oppressive or overbearing”. From that you might think it was quite a small turbine, five or ten metres high. But no, it’s massive, 149 metres (485 ft.) from ground to blade tip – that’s taller than St Paul’s and only 9 metres short of Blackpool Tower! You might well wonder, if that is ruled as “unlikely to be visually oppressive or overbearing”, will any wind turbine anywhere in Britain ever be judged visually oppressive or overbearing again?