The outline proposal included 100 affordable homes, land for a primary school and associated infrastructure. Looking first at whether the location was sustainable, the inspector considered that, despite adjoining a main settlement, the site was too far from day-to-day facilities to walk easily and from existing or proposed bus stops. He was particularly concerned about the difficulty of getting to places of work, contrary to paragraph 34 of the NPPF.
He then looked at whether the council could show a sufficient housing land supply. He noted that the original housing need figure in the adopted plan local was not going to be met even at the time of adoption. While finding that a five-year supply against the requirement set by the local plan was probably just about met, he concluded that its housing policies were out of date in any event.
The inspector accepted third parties’ points that, contrary to an agreement reached between the council and the appellant, the site would not be in a sustainable location because it was too distant from opportunities to undertake day-to-day activities and the development would not remedy that. This was sufficient to tip the balance against the proposal, he concluded.
A partial award of costs was made to the appellant for unnecessary wasted expense in defending the council’s reason for refusal, which only related to contending that there were no disproportionate benefits arising from the proposal given the housing land supply position.
Inspector: Paul Clark; Inquiry