Council backed in refusal to validate application

An inspector has refused to determine an appeal involving plans for a two-bedroom house in north London after agreeing with the council that the application was invalid.

The council explained that it required contributions towards affordable housing on development sites of up to nine dwellings. A supplementary planning document stated that a draft unilateral undertaking providing a financial contribution should be submitted at validation stage, unless the applicant could show that a contribution would not be viable. The applicant had not submitted a viability assessment, the council stated.

The inspector noted that revised Planning Practice Guidance waiving the need for any affordable housing contribution on developments of ten dwellings or less had been quashed by the High Court. Although the Court of Appeal is due to consider the High Court ruling next March, he found that its interpretation remained in force in the meantime.

The council’s policies clearly set out a justification for seeking affordable housing contributions, he decided. Since the appellant had failed to submit one at the time the application was lodged, he concluded that no valid application had been submitted and so there was no right of appeal.

Inspector: David Murray; Written representations

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