Design quality prevails over housing numbers

An outline proposal for 31 houses, including 40 per cent affordable, on farmland on the edge of a Northamptonshire village failed when an inspector held poor design and layout outweighed the contribution to housing supply.

200-007-946 (Image Credit: Corby BC)
200-007-946 (Image Credit: Corby BC)

The council claimed a five-year housing land supply in support of development plan policies resisting housing in this location, but the appellant challenged the likely completions to be delivered on sites relied upon. The inspector noted the evidential burden on the council had increased significantly in the revised NPPF from a realistic prospect of delivery to clear evidence that development would not be implemented. Although the council considered that their assessment still met the requirements of the revised NPPF, given that the five-year supply was only achieved by some twelve dwellings, the inspector considered it unsafe to conclude that a five-year supply existed.

Applying paragraph 11 of the NPPF, the inspector determined the appeal on the basis of the tilted balance. Having concluded the out-of-keeping layout and density failed to respect the character of the area, co-ordinate with adjacent development, provide adequate gardens or ensure quality of life for both existing and proposed residents, the inspector held these to be adverse impacts contrary to national and core strategy policy. Referring to a strong emphasis on design in section 12 of the NPPF, and identifying a link between good design and overall sustainability objectives including getting development in the right places, the inspector decided these adverse impacts outweighed the benefit of a modest number of new homes and dismissed the appeal.

Inspector: Julia Gregory; Hearing

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