Rural exception sites policy wording scrutinised

Redevelopment of a bungalow and large garden with three houses was allowed in outline by an inspector satisfied a policy exception for small housing sites adjacent the Derbyshire village settlement boundary had been met.

The council argued that the exception sites referred to in local policy were for affordable housing only and the scheme conflicted with this as it was for open market houses. Although the inspector acknowledged the council’s argument that the intention of policy was to only allow affordable housing and cross subsidy exception sites adjacent to settlement boundaries, on close interpretation of the wording of the policy he decided that this was not what the policy expressed and a housing scheme of less than fifteen open market dwellings satisfied policy criteria. In reaching this decision he made reference to case law in the Supreme Court case of Tesco Stores Ltd v Dundee City Council 2012 and accordingly interpreted the policy objectively and in accordance with the language used and read in its proper context.

Inspector: Alexander Walker; Written representations

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