Pickles rejects 100 Staffordshire homes over neighbourhood plan clash

The communities secretary has rejected an inspector's recommendation to approve plans for up to 100 homes in Staffordshire after concluding that the proposal would 'undermine' an emerging neighbourhood plan.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles
Communities secretary Eric Pickles

East Staffordshire Borough Council had refused planning permission for the homes proposed for a site at Rolleston on Dove.

A planning inspector then recommended that the appeal be allowed and planning permission be granted.
But a decision letter issued this week said Eric Pickles disagreed with this conclusion.

The letter said Pickles agreed with the inspector that the proposal would not be in line with the current development plan as it lies outside of the village’s settlement boundary.

Further to this, the letter said, the secretary of state agreed that there was "a substantial shortfall" in the council’s five-year housing land supply.

"The secretary of state considers this is an important consideration to be taken into account in the overall planning balance", the letter said.

But the letter said Pickles found that "the effect of granting permission would undermine the neighbourhood plan-making process in this case".

The letter said Pickles gave "significant weight to the opportunity which the neighbourhood plan process gives to local people to ensure they get the right types of development for their community".

It added: "Although the development would not be in direct conflict with policies in the neighbourhood plan (NP) as suggested following the examiner’s report, to allow this appeal in advance of the NP progressing to referendum would represent a large scale development that is not in a location that is explicitly provided for by the NP or required to be incorporated as a strategic requirement.

"Therefore, the appeal proposal undermines the neighbourhood plan-making process by predetermining decisions about the scale and location of new development central to the emerging NP. The secretary of state assigns significant weight to the prematurity to the NP."

Compass Number: 200-003-064

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