A local plan examiner and another appeal inspector had both recently decided that the council could show a five-year housing supply. In attempting to show that circumstances had changed, the appellants relied in part on a recent appeal submission from the House Builders Federation that, for allocated sites to be included within five-year supply figures, there should be an identified commitment from landowners or developers to bring them forward within five years.
The inspector found that the evidence submitted by the appellant on landowners’ intentions was not comprehensive and was in some respects contradictory. In any event, he added, this was not a criterion reflected in either national guidance or case law. He concluded that the council could demonstrate a five-year supply. While finding that the scheme offered some benefits, in the shape of 25 per cent affordable housing, a shop, a day nursery and a 60-bed care home, he saw no specific justification for allowing development in a location that contravened the council’s settlement strategy.
Inspector: George Baird; Inquiry