The site was allocated for housing development in a local plan adopted in 1998. The council argued that in the light of national guidance in PPG3, its suitability for housing development should be reviewed. This was particularly important, it claimed, given that committed housing schemes in the village should be given priority.
The inspector noted that the village was identified as suitable for significant housing growth. The appeal site was capable of accommodating around 80 dwellings and in his view this would not undermine the council's preference to secure a major village expansion on another site.
He also ruled that a financial contribution towards improving educational facilities was neither reasonable nor necessary. He decided that the council's position on this issue was unsustainable and that it should have recognised early in the appeal process that a financial contribution was not justified.
This warranted a partial award of costs in favour of the appellant, he concluded.
DCS No: 34605931; Inspector: David Smith; Inquiry.