The secretary of state agreed with the inspector that, on past performance, the buffer against housing underdelivery had to be 20 per cent. Since the council had failed to demonstrate a robust five-year housing land supply figure, he endorsed the inspector’s conclusion that the solution was to deliver homes immediately, including much needed affordable housing. In the absence of a five-year housing land supply, he ruled that paragraphs 14 and 49 of the NPPF applied.
A development plan policy designated the site as a protected area of search to meet future housing needs, but the secretary of state agreed with the inspector that this could not be considered up to date. He agreed that the policy had emerged in a different context, when the number of homes required was far less than currently, and was now time-expired.
Use of the policy to prevent development would be contrary to the terms of the NPPF taken as a whole, he ruled. Having considered accessibility, the highway network and the identity of the village, he was satisfied that no adverse impacts carried sufficient weight to indicate that development of the site should be restricted.
Inspector: Kenneth Barton; Inquiry