Javid blocks 100 Herefordshire homes over neighbourhood plan clash

The communities secretary has blocked plans for up to 100 homes at a site in Herefordshire after concluding that the development would be contrary to an emerging neighbourhood plan, despite the local authority being unable to demonstrate a five-year housing land supply.

Communities secretary Sajid Javid
Communities secretary Sajid Javid

The appeal, made by Gladman Developments, was against the decision of Herefordshire Council to refuse its application for the homes at a site at Bartestree outside Hereford.

A decision letter sent this week on behalf of the communities secretary Sajid Javid said that there was agreement between the parties that the council is currently only able to demonstrate a housing land supply of 3.63 years.

As such, the letter said, in accordance with measures in the National Planning Policy Framework, the council’s relevant policies for the supply of housing could not be considered up-to-date.

The letter said that the emerging Bartestree with Lugwardine Neighbourhood Development Plan (BLNDP) contained settlement boundaries for Bartestree which excluded the appeal site.

The inspector had given the emerging plan moderate weight, but the letter said that since the inspector’s report, the plan had been recommended to proceed to referendum.

"Therefore, as the BLNDP is now at an advanced stage, the secretary of state attributes significant weight to the plan", the letter said.

The secretary of state attached "significant weight to the economic benefits of the scheme and to the social benefit in terms of providing much needed market and affordable housing".

But the letter said that Javid also gave "significant weight" to the adverse impact of the proposal on the character and appearance of the surrounding area and further significant weight to the proposal’s "failure to protect or enhance … valued landscape".

The letter added that Javid gave significant weight "to the inappropriate level of growth the scale of the proposed development would impose on this settlement and would fail to support the settlement’s health and well-being".

Overall, the letter said, Javid concluded that the proposal "is not compliant with the development plan as a whole and cannot be considered sustainable development".


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