Javid blocks 225 Hampshire homes despite housing land shortfall

The communities secretary has refused plans for up to 225 homes and care home on a 22.64-hectare greenfield site in Hampshire, despite the council being unable to demonstrate a five-year housing land supply.

Hamble, Hampshire (pic Diamond Geezer via Flickr)
Hamble, Hampshire (pic Diamond Geezer via Flickr)

Developer Hallam Land Management had appealed against the decision of Eastleigh District Council to refuse outline planning permission for the development at Hamble which would also have included the provision of public open space and woodland, and improvements to Hamble Station including new car parking.

A planning inspector subsequently recommended that the appeal be refused, and a decision this week said that the communities secretary Sajid Javid agreed with this conclusion.

The letter said that Javid concluded that, in the absence of a five-year housing land supply, and having concluded that relevant policies for the supply of housing were therefore out-of-date, "the presumption in favour of sustainable development is engaged, meaning that permission should be granted unless any adverse impacts of doing so significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits".

Javid considered that the provision of market and affordable housing "in an area with an acknowledged shortfall, along with care facilities in this case carries substantial weight in favour of the development", the letter said.

But it went on to say that "set against the identified positive aspects is the environmental and social damage which would arise out of the loss of the gap between the surrounding settlements, involving the physical intrusion into an area of countryside, and contributing to the coalescence of those settlements, and loss of independent identity".

The letter said that Javid considered that this would be "contrary to those policies of the National Planning Policy Framework which apply the principle of recognising the different roles and character of different areas, and this carries significant weight against the proposal".

Javid also considered that the loss of "best and most versatile" agricultural land carried "moderate weight" against the proposal.

Overall, the letter said, Javid found that the adverse impacts of the proposal would "significantly and demonstrably" outweigh its benefits.

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