Hypothetical alternative development carries limited weight

The conversion of a London care home to 38 flats received the go-ahead from an inspector when she found adequate provision for affordable housing.

The council argued a more efficient use of the site would provide an increased amount of affordable housing in an area needing to maximise provision and submitted details of an indicative alternative scheme that could achieve this. Having regard to R (Mount Cook Land Ltd) v Westminster City Council 2003 and SSCLG v Carroll 2016, the inspector summarised case law as essentially concluding that the relative advantages of alternative uses on an application site are normally irrelevant in planning terms. In the absence of exceptional circumstances and describing the alternative scheme as vague, the inspector went on to decide the appeal case on its merits. Finding the details of the scheme before her compliant with policies including affordable housing policy, she allowed the appeal.

Inspector: Helen Miles; Hearing

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