Exceptional circumstances not proven in support of housing scheme

In ruling against an appellant planning to build up to 50 dwellings in the Cornwall AONB, an inspector decided that exceptional circumstances required under paragraph 116 of the NPPF had not been demonstrated.

It was common ground that the scheme comprised major development in the context of the NPPF. There was little dispute that the area needed more affordable dwellings and the council’s affordable housing officer had expressed qualified support, the inspector noted. But a submitted unilateral undertaking proposed that 68 per cent of the dwellings would be for intermediate rent rather than 100 per cent affordable. Since the site lay within the AONB and despite the council being unable to demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land, footnote 9 to paragraph 14 of the NPPF stated that the presumption in favour did not apply. Normally, the provision of affordable housing would be in the public interest but this did not apply to the open market housing which was also proposed. The harm to the scenic qualities of the AONB was sufficient to reject the scheme.

Inspector: Peter Jarratt; Written representations

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