The appeal was made by Gladman Developments against Eastleigh Borough Council’s refusal of planning permission for the scheme at Botley Road, West End, Hampshire.
In his decision letter, inspector Jonathan Bore said the council had "a significant shortfall in the supply of deliverable housing land for the next five years and no convincing evidence that the gap is diminishing to the extent that it will be made up within a reasonable time by identified deliverable sites".
The inspector found therefore that, in line with measures in the National Planning Policy Framework, key policies in the council’s local plan were out of date.
These included policy 2.CO, which is intended to restrict development in strategic gaps.
The report said that the scheme "would have strong social benefits in the form of housing and affordable provision and would provide economic benefits from construction, additional household expenditure and from potential greater patronage of the local services".
Bore’s report also said that "adverse impacts of the scheme to the landscape, the countryside and the strategic gap, and the other impacts of the scheme … would be slight and would not significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits".
Indeed, the report said, even if saved Policy 2.CO on strategic gaps was "not out-of-date, the considerable benefits of the scheme, weighed against the limited harm, would indicate a decision other than in accordance with that policy."