Housing approved due to local economy multiplier effect

A recovered appeal for 396 houses in Northumberland has been allowed due to the economic benefits of the proposal.

The appeal site was an area of agricultural land outside, but adjacent to, an existing town. The secretary of state found that as the council could not demonstrate a 5-year supply of deliverable housing sites, relevant policies for the supply of housing were not considered to be up-to date. The proposal provided a substantial amount of market housing in an area where there was a lack of a 5-year housing land supply.

He also found that significant weight should be given to the economic benefits of the proposal, including direct employment and the multiplier effect in the local economy, and also to social benefits, which included much needed affordable housing. The secretary of state considered that the proposal would improve the flooding situation downstream and that, whilst the improvement would be small, it was a positive factor that weighed moderately in favour of the appeal, as did a net benefit to ecology, and the provision of public access to a large proportion of the site. As the NPPF required high quality design then this attribute of the scheme was not counted as an additional benefit.

The secretary of state considered that the proposal would harm landscape character, albeit not to a significant extent, and the appearance of the area, to a significant extent, but along a fairly localised stretch of a road corridor. He also found that the development should not be refused on transport grounds. In conclusion, the adverse impacts of granting permission were found not significantly and demonstrably to outweigh the clear and multiple benefits of the proposal.

Inspector: Pete Drew; Inquiry

DCS No: 200-003-066

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