Plans for an additional eight gypsy/traveller pitches at a site in River Lane, Wrecclesham, have been dismissed at appeal.
Mr N Schultz sought to overturn Waverley Borough Council’s refusal of planning permission for the new pitches at Legend Acres.
But while an inspector ruled the development would have “an acceptable impact” on the area, they added it would “significantly harm the living conditions of future occupiers due to the risk of flooding”.
The inspector's report highlights that the site falls within Flood Zone 2, as identified in the Waverley Borough Local Plan Part 1.
According to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), residential development should be directed to areas with the lowest flood risk.
The applicant conducted a sequential test in 2019, which concluded that there were no available gypsy/traveller pitches on public sites in the Farnham area.
Although some privately owned sites were identified as being within Flood Zone 1, they were not considered available as they were already established family sites.
But the inspector noted that the appellant did not provide any evidence to suggest that the availability of pitches had changed since the original sequential test.
Additionally, the Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) prepared for the site in 2015 did not account for the proposed development's increased number of households, nor did it consider the latest climate change allowances.
Without sufficient evidence and flood risk mitigation measures, the inspector concluded that the development would not be safe for its lifetime and would increase flood risk.
Regarding the character and appearance of the area, the inspector described the site as located within the Countryside beyond the Green Belt and an Area of Greater Landscape Value (AGLV).
The existing lawful development on the site, including a mobile home pitch and stables, was considered to have assimilated into the landscape without causing significant harm.
However, the proposed development would result in pitches being situated more closely together, though the overall site area would not be reduced.
Based on these factors, the inspector concluded that the proposed development would significantly harm the living conditions of future occupants because of the risk of flooding.
This finding was in line with policy CC4 of the Waverley Borough Local Plan Part 1, policy DM1 of the Waverley Borough Local Plan Part 2, and policy FNP1 of the Farnham Neighbourhood Plan, all of which aim to avoid significant harm to future occupants from flood risk.
The appeal inspector also dismissed the applicant's application for his associated costs to be reimbursed by the borough council.