Outline planning permission had been granted in 2015 for 500 dwellings, an extra care home, 5,500 square metres of business floorspace and 100 square metres of retail floorspace on the 7.3-hectare site. Five outstanding objections at the time of the inquiry concerned business disruption, viability and lack of demand for more commercial floorspace.
The secretary of state agreed with his inspector that the purpose of acquiring the site complied with local and national policy to promote sustainable development and there were no alternatives to compulsory acquisition. In his view, the Human Rights Act 1998 and Equality Act 2010 had been adequately considered and efforts to relocate businesses and jobs had reduced adverse impacts on protected groups.
He concluded that the need for regeneration, improvements to the office sector offer in an area of need, 155 full-time jobs, a £9 million boost to the local economy and provision of much needed new homes were viable and significant public benefits that justified the interference in interests in the land affected by the order.
Inspector: Robert Jackson; Inquiry