The Planning Inspectorate has considered what constitutes a "village" for the purposes of paragraph 145 e) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in the context of a planning appeal in relation to an application for the construction of two dwellings in the green belt. Whilst the NPPF provides that the construction of new buildings should be regarded as inappropriate in the green belt, paragraph 145 e) provides for an exemption for limited infilling in villages.

The Inspector considered the Oxford Dictionary definition of "village", which is "a group of houses and associated buildings, larger than a hamlet and smaller than a town, situated in a rural area". It defines a hamlet as "a small settlement, generally one smaller than a village, and strictly (in Britain) one without a Church". It was determined that the appeal site, which was among a group of 18 residential dwellings known collectively as Ridgeway with no church, fell within a hamlet and not a village and therefore the exemption in paragraph 145 e) did not apply and the appeal was dismissed.

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