Need for housing outweighs public concern

A proposal for 16 dwellings on the edge of a rural south Somerset village was allowed despite recently adopted local plan housing policies mainly on the grounds of a lack of a five-year supply of land for housing.

An inspector considered the main issue to be whether the proposal would undermine local plan policy and public confidence in the planning system such as to outweigh the benefits of the proposal. He considered that the recently adopted local plan policy on housing supply could not be considered up to date as the council did not have a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites. The scheme was to provide 35 per cent affordable housing as well as market housing in an area of need which, he considered, represented a considerable benefit in what was acknowledged by all parties to be a sustainable settlement. In considering the public objections to the scheme he noted that established planning law did not require public support before permission could be granted and that the level of opposition was not overwhelming.

The inspector ordered a partial award of costs on the grounds the local authority had not susbstantiated its concerns regarding its reason for refusal on housing policy.

Inspector: Neil Pope; Written representations

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