Single rural dwelling allowed due to lack of housing land supply

A single dwelling in a Worcestershire village was allowed despite being contrary to local plan policy, because the council was not able to demonstrate an adequate supply of housing land.

The local plan policy identified the village as being in a category having few services and facilities and a low level of public transport. As such, development was restricted to conversions of existing buildings, the replacement of individual buildings or the delivery of affordable housing where local needs could not be delivered in higher category settlements.

An inspector found that the council’s position that it could demonstrate a five year housing land supply was not convincing at the present time. In this context he noted that paragraph 49 of the NPPF set out that relevant policies for the supply of housing should not be considered up-to-date if the local planning authority could not demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites. He acknowledged that the development would deliver only a single dwelling towards the council’s housing land supply targets.

Nevertheless, he considered it to be a modest benefit of the development. Further, the appellant demonstrated that there were other settlements within a reasonable distance that offered additional services and employment opportunities. In addition, the council accepted that the development would not be harmful in any other regard, including its design.

The inspector concluded that whilst the delivery of the dwelling would deliver only a modest benefit towards the council’s housing targets, in the absence of any adverse impacts or development plan conflict, the development would constitute sustainable development as set out in paragraph 14 of the NPPF.

Inspector Jonathan Manning; Written representations

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