Last week, in allowing an appeal against Milton Keynes Council’s refusal of plans for 50 homes at Castlethorpe Road, in the village of Hanslope, planning inspector JP Sargent concluded that the local authority was unable to demonstrate a five year housing land supply.
Sargent found that found there was "a shortfall in housing land supply, with the evidence before me leading me to find there is a supply in the region of 4.4 years".
The inspector said that, during the examination hearings into its new local plan, which was adopted in March, the council "maintained it had a 6.42-year supply of deliverable housing sites, which equated to 2,858 homes above the requirement of 10,087".
But Sargent said that he had not been provided with "clear evidence" that this was deliverable.
The inspector noted another recent appeal decision (DCS Number 200-008-737) in which the inspector had concluded that the council could demonstrate a five year housing land supply.
But in that appeal decision, he said "the appellant was different, the agents were different and the hearing lasted only one day instead of the two in this case (the second day of which was entirely given over to housing land supply issues and included a length and forensic site-by-site analysis of the table), the evidence offered will not be the same as presented to me".
Therefore, he added, "the weight I have given his findings has been limited".
A spokesman for Milton Keynes Council said: "We’re disappointed by the decision given that the council has received other recent appeal decisions confirming a five year housing land supply and has only recently adopted its new local plan (Plan:MK).
"There is significant contradiction between these decisions. The council will be seeking legal advice on the matter."
On the same day as the inspector's decision was issued, a neighbourhood plan for Hanslope was passed in a local referendum. The appeal site is not alloacted for development in the plan.