Technical college provision fails to tip balance in favour of housing

Outline plans for a privately-funded further education college and residential development on an open countryside site in Yorkshire failed to win the support of an inspector.

The inspector praised as laudable the provision of a college aimed at improving technical skills education to fill an identified gap at no cost to the public purse but found no evidence of an overriding need for the extra provision, the council identifying a surplus of education provision in the post-16 age group. Consequently, although he judged the college would be a significant benefit of the development, this did not outweigh the harm he had identified in terms of landscape character and loss of an undeveloped gap, separating settlements and housing development in a location contrary to the development plan. In the absence of an identified overriding need for the college, a failure to provide affordable housing on the grounds of viability was also unjustified. On balance, the inspector concluded conflict with the development plan was not outweighed by the economic and social benefits of the proposal and dismissed the appeal.

Inspector: Phillip Major; Written representations

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