Gladman Developments appealed after Aylesbury Vale District Council failed to determine its outline application for 65 homes in the village of Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire, in time.
According to the report by inspector Rory Cridland, the council said it would have refused permission because the site is outside of the village's settlement boundary. It also said Aylesbury Vale had failed to agree adequate planning obligations with the developer, though satisfactory terms were later agreed.
The inspector considered that the council's local plan for the area was somewhat out of date, so he assessed the application against the Long Crendon Parish Neighbourhood Plan, adopted in 2017.
He found that the proposal would conflict with the spatial strategy of the neighbourhood plan because it would not be in a location identified for large-scale housing and would deliver a significant amount of housing above the numbers currently identified for the area. Ultimately, he found, permission for the scheme would "weaken public confidence in the neighbourhood planning process itself".
The inspector rejected the appellant's argument that the relevant neighbourhood plan policy LC1 was inconsistent with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) because it tried to seek a blanket ban on new development outside the settlement boundary in the open countryside.
He said: "The Framework makes clear that neighbourhood planning is intended to give communities the power to develop a shared vision for their area and seeks to empower local communities and provide them with an effective means to shape and direct development in the neighbourhood area. Policy LC1 is fundamental to the [neighbourhood plan] achieving this aim and in view of the fact that this plan became part of the development plan relatively recently, I afford the conflict with this policy very significant weight."
A DCS summary of the decision can be found here.