Homes passed despite no allocation in village plan

Lack of an allocation in an adopted neighbourhood plan has not stopped outline consent being issued for 180 homes outside the development boundary of a Derbyshire village.

200-008-051 (Image Credit: RPS)
200-008-051 (Image Credit: RPS)

Members had overturned an officers’ recommendation to approve the scheme out of concern about its impact on the area’s appearance and character and accessibility to facilities. The inspector gave short shrift to these objections. In his view, the proposal would cause only limited harm to the area’s character because the site was well screened from long-distance views, He noted that it lay within walking and cycling distance of the nearest settlement, which had a wide range of amenities, and close to bus stops with frequent services to larger centres.

In deciding that the scheme’s benefits outweighed limited harm to appearance and character, the inspector relied on three key points. Firstly, he found that the 2005 adopted local plan’s strategic housing and settlement boundary policies were out of date because they did not address up-to-date housing needs and were far more restrictive than required by the NPPF. This triggered the tilted balance in paragraph 11 of the framework, he ruled.

Secondly, while acknowledging that the standard methodology for assessing housing need showed a healthy five-year land supply position, the inspector noted that was not to be regarded as a ceiling. He afforded significant weight to the benefits of boosting supply from the general needs housing and 40 per cent affordable homes proposed. Finally, he discounted the fact that a made neighbourhood plan did not allocate the site for housing. While accepting that this plan’s failure to address local housing needs did not render it out of date, he saw it as neutral in the planning balance.

Inspector: Phillip Ware; Inquiry

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