Affordable housing provision key in scheme approval

A scheme for 87 dwellings comprising of 40 per cent affordable housing has been allowed in Worcestershire due in part to the delivery of affordable housing.

The appeal site was some 4.5 hectares of land that was in use primarily for kennels, stables and grazing purposes by the Worcestershire Hunt. It was located adjacent to a village. One of the main issues was the effect of the proposal on the location strategy for new development in the district. As the site stood immediately beyond a designated development village boundary, the appeal scheme would result in development in the countryside, at odds with the council’s development strategy in a local plan. The main parties agreed that there was a NPPF compliant supply of housing land. The inspector considered that the site was a reasonably sustainable location for the development proposed, although it would be at odds with the council’s existing and emerging development strategy.

The inspector gave particular weight to the delivery of affordable housing. The reasons for this included that the proposed provision would be at a greater rate than was required by the current development plan and bearing in mind that it was common ground between the main parties that such provision would be of significant benefit. Therefore, notwithstanding an identified policy conflict and its effect on the character and appearance of the area and on the outlook of neighbouring residents, these considerations were outweighed by the delivery of affordable housing.

Inspector: Gwilym Jones; Inquiry

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