At the time of the inquiry, the parties agreed that the council could not demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land and relevant policies were out of date, meaning the tilted balance in favour of sustainable development in national policy applied. The inspector found that development in this location would harm the local landscape, erode an important gap between villages, conflict with the settlement pattern and result in the loss of best and most versatile farmland. She concluded that these harms outweighed the benefits of providing market and affordable housing in an accessible location and the appeal scheme should not be regarded as sustainable development.
The inspector asked for comments on the relevance of the revised NPPF, published after the close of the inquiry. The council claimed it could now show a five-year housing land supply using the method for calculating this set out in the revised NPPF, so the tilted balance was no longer engaged. The inspector pointed out that the appeal would still be dismissed in this event, and saw no need to make a finding on this matter.
Inspector: Yvonne Wright; Inquiry