The local authority pointed out that last year another inspector had found a 4.8-year supply of housing land in the area, representing a shortfall of only 29 homes. This inspector had accepted that there was a sufficient supply of land as long as the council agreed to monitor and manage supply and get a local development plan document adopted.
But the draft development plan had subsequently been withdrawn on the advice of its public examination inspector. In addition, the authority's refusal of permission for homes on a large site elsewhere in the borough had cut its housing land supply to 3.6 years, although an appeal had been lodged against this decision.
The draft development plan allocated only half the appeal site for housing, with the balance left as open space. The appeal inspector saw little justification for the open space element. The site's inclusion within the settlement boundary, along with the current significant shortage in land supply, justified the release of the whole site for homes, he concluded.
Inspector: Tony Thickett; Inquiry