Up-to-date local plan precludes development outside settlement boundary

The judgment in East Staffordshire Borough Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & Barwood Strategic Land [2016] was relied upon by an inspector in rejecting a scheme for 135 dwellings on the edge of a settlement in Staffordshire, concluding that the presumption in favour of sustainable development in paragraph 14 of the NPPF did not apply.

The settlement was identified as a local service village and a neighbourhood plan designated land for housing capable of meeting a minimum of 40 dwellings. Since the council was able to demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land the inspector, in applying the East Staffordshire judgment, decided that in accordance with the third bullet point in paragraph 14 of the framework a proposal which was inconsistent with a relevant and up-to-date local plan should be refused unless material considerations indicated otherwise.

The site lay outside the settlement boundary and involved development not allocated in the neighbourhood plan. The judgment also made clear that the presumption in favour of sustainable development would permeate through an up-to-date local plan and since the scheme would not accord with settlement or countryside policies and an adequate supply of housing was demonstrated, it was not a sustainable form of development.

Inspector: R Allen; Hearing

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