Fair share of housing growth argument fails to prevent further village expansion

An outline scheme for up to 60 homes has been allowed on greenfield land outside a village settlement boundary in Essex.

The council considered that, taking into account a large estate of 145 dwellings permitted on the opposite side of the lane following a successful appeal earlier in 2016, and other authorised developments, the 200 dwellings committed but yet to be built in the village amounted to an increase of 26 percent in housing stock, compared to a planned district-wide increase of some 16 percent, and suggested alternative locations elsewhere were more appropriate.

The inspector found no policy basis for the sentiment that the village was already making a fair contribution to district housing supply and further development should be directed to higher tier settlements in the hierarchy. He noted the emerging plan did not define a specific ceiling for growth in the village, nor a quantified distribution of growth between settlements.

Applying the weighted balance, given a lack of five-year supply, the inspector found that the adverse impact on the semi-rural character of the setting of this side of the village had to be judged in the context of the changes the permitted housing estate opposite would bring. Therefore, overall the social and economic benefits of the development were held to outweigh the environmental harm and the appeal allowed.

Inspector: Peter Rose; Hearing

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