Having considered the inspector’s analysis of housing land supply, the secretary of state concluded that the housing shortfall in the area was severe, with only 1.9 years supply. He recognised that paragraph 198 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that permission should not normally be granted for applications that conflict with neighbourhood plans that have been brought into force.
However, he considered that the circumstances were unusual because of the severe housing shortage and an agreed substantially higher objectively assessed need underpinning an emerging local plan than when the neighbourhood plan had been prepared. On that basis, he held, the conflict with paragraph 198 carried only limited weight. Finding no specific policies in the NPPF to indicate that development on the site should be refused, he concluded that the significant benefits of new market and affordable homes outweighed conflict with out-of-date development plan policy.
Inspector: Julia Gregory; Inquiry