Javid refuses housing scheme after council demonstrates five-year housing land supply

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has refused a proposal for more than 200 homes in Buckinghamshire on landscape grounds, after finding that the local council could demonstrate a five-year housing land supply.

Aylesbury Vale: housing plans refused
Aylesbury Vale: housing plans refused

Javid refused developer Gladman Development’s proposal for the homes at a site on the edge of Winslow, after Aylesbury Vale District Council refused an outline application for the proposal in 2015.

In his decision letter, Javid accepted planning inspector Kathleen Ellison’s recommendation that the scheme should be refused, saying the scheme would have "a damaging effect on the character and visual aspect of the landscape".

He added that the proposal would conflict with policies in the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan, which seek to direct future development and contain the spread of the town.

Javid accepted the inspector’s analysis of the potential impact of the proposal on the landscape character of the Claydon Valley, agreeing that if the site was developed "it would have a significant, long-term adverse effect on the landscape character."

He also agreed that the visual impact of the scheme would be "significantly adverse, even taking into account the proposed mitigation measures".

The developers had claimed that the council could not demonstrate a five-year land supply. But, following an analysis of the latest evidence on housing need and supply, Javid concluded that "it is reasonable to conclude that there is a housing land supply (HLS) of between 5,082 and 5,296 dwellings in Aylesbury Vale, amounting to at least a 5.6 year HLS".

He therefore concluded that the presumption in favour of sustainable development in paragraph 14 of the National Planning Policy Framework was not triggered.

Javid accepted that there would be "significant social benefits arising from the provision of affordable and market housing", which would lend "substantial weight in favour of the proposal". 

But overall he concluded that there were not sufficient material considerations "which indicate that the proposal should be determined other than in accordance with the development plan" and that the appeal should therefore be dismissed. 

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