The scheme was proposed on a site allocated for residential development in the adopted local plan. It included 52 affordable units arranged in six clusters, of which two would comprise 18 and 13 units and the remainder nine dwellings or fewer. The inspector noted that the local plan and an adopted neighbourhood plan had relevant policies requiring affordable housing to be well integrated, appear indistinguishable from market homes and be located in several clusters across sites.
While acknowledging that there was no definitive guidance on the number of dwellings that should form a cluster, he considered that the 18-unit block of affordable homes would stand out, since it would comprise some 35 per cent of the total affordable units. He was concerned that it would have limited connections to other parts of the site, potentially resulting in a non-inclusive community in the long term.
Overall, the inspector was not satisfied that the proposed affordable element would be adequately integrated within the market housing and this adverse effect would outweigh the scheme’s significant contribution towards housing supply. He concluded that it would conflict with the development plan overall and would undermine the key aim of creating mixed and inclusive communities set out in paragraphs 91 and 127 of the NPPF.
Inspector: Wayne Johnson; Written representations