Edge of settlement location policy compliant

An inspector has ruled that the construction of 30 dwellings on the edge of a settlement in Suffolk was consistent with the council's policies on residential development.

The council’s core strategy recognised that in larger villages new development would primarily be concentrated on brownfield land but some greenfield land on the edge would also be needed. The phrase ‘on the edge’ was not defined, the inspector noted, but it was reasonable to assume that it applied to locations outside of but adjacent to the physical limits of the settlement. Although a subsequent development management policy sought to preclude housing development in the countryside this could not withdraw the acceptance in principle of such schemes as defined by the core strategy, the inspector held.

In respect of land supply the inspector was satisfied that the council could demonstrate that there had not been persistent under-delivery of housing over a period of years and consequently a five per cent buffer was acceptable. But he found little justification for including housing for the elderly in the figures, including care homes. There was insufficient information to determine whether this element of the supply had risen or fallen. Overall, the council was able to demonstrate a five year supply of housing but this did not mean the scheme was unacceptable given the context provided by the adopted core strategy and the limited harm to the character of the area.

Inspector: Jeremy Sargent; Inquiry

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