Planning inspector allows Cheshire greenfield homes

A planning inspector has allowed an appeal against a council's decision to refuse permission for 200 homes on greenfield land near the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire.

The homes will be built near the Jodrell Bank Observatory

The inspector overturned the decision of Cheshire East Council and gave the go-ahead for the scheme at Loachbrook Farm, Congleton. He said that the National Planning Policy Framework, published after the inquiry into the scheme was held, did not give justification for refusal.

His report said: "The overall impact on the landscape would be moderate and, whilst the proposal would locally harm the character and appearance of this area of countryside by extending the built-up area of the town on the lower southern slopes, it would not unduly intrude into more distant views of landforms that provide the setting of Congleton."

The report also said that the council had failed to demonstrate that it had a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites. It said: "This represents a serious shortfall in housing provision that carries substantial weight. Housing on this site would contribute to meeting this shortfall."

The inspector also rejected the council’s argument that it would be premature to allow the application due to the fact it has yet to produce a draft of its core strategy and site allocations development plan document.

Marc Hourigan director of planning and development consultants Hourigan Connolly, who acted for the appellants, said:"It was clear to us from the outset that the council did not have an adequate supply of housing land as required by government policy.

"Furthermore, it is clear that Congleton is a suitable location for further housing development, that the site is sustainably located and could deliver the sort of high-quality development the government expects."

The decision letter (DCS Number 100-078-967) can be purchased from DCS Ltd, call 01452 835820 or email dcs@haymarket.com