Jenrick approves 200-home Gladman scheme on unallocated greenfield site in Colchester

Land promoter Gladman has secured consent from the secretary of state for up to 200 homes on an unallocated greenfield site in north Essex, after the minister agreed with an inspector's assessment that the local authority could not demonstrate a five year housing land supply.

A visualisation of the proposals. (Pic: Gladman)
A visualisation of the proposals. (Pic: Gladman)

Colchester Borough Council refused outline planning permission for Gladman’s proposed scheme in January 2019. The grounds of refusal included that the development was proposed for an unallocated greenfield site outside the settlement boundary of the village of Tiptree.

Gladman's application proposed up to 200 homes, including 30 per cent affordable housing, and 0.6 hectares of land safeguarded for school expansion.

The firm lodged an appeal that was recovered for determination by the secretary of state in October and inspector Siobhan Watson recommended that the appeal be allowed in November.

According to the inspector's report, Gladman argued that the council could demonstrate a 3.66 year supply of housing land, while Colchester calculated the figure at 5.13 years. 

The secretary of state agreed with the inspector that the council could demonstrate a housing land supply of 4.7 years and that the National Planning Policy Framework’s presumption in favour of sustainable development was therefore engaged.

He added: “The provision of 200 market and affordable homes represents a substantial benefit, and considers it to carry significant weight in favour of the proposal.” 

The secretary of state noted that the appeal site is undeveloped, lies outside of the Tiptree settlement boundary, and is therefore in conflict with the adopted 2008 Colchester core strategy, which was reviewed in 2014.

He also noted that the proposed scheme “would result in loss of countryside and a change in character for the site” but found the development “would not have a significant wider landscape impact, and that the setting of Tiptree would not be harmed”.

While the proposed scheme is in the vicinity of three protected ecological sites, the secretary of state found that with proposed mitigation measures “there would be no overall harm to wildlife”.

In conclusion, he said: “The adverse impacts of the proposal do not significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits.”

Earlier this week, Planning reported that the housing secretary allowed an appeal by Gladman for 150 homes on a greenfield site in Suffolk, despite the local authority being able to show a five year housing land supply.

Last month, Gladman said it would be pursuing fewer appeals after a failed High Court bid to overturn two refusals of planning permission for a total of 260 homes.

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