The site contained two vacant buildings, with the larger one exceeding 18,000m2. The appellants claimed that an extensive marketing campaign had unearthed no interest. They asserted that there was no pressing need to retain the site given the supply of employment land in the area, whereas there was a substantial shortfall of housing on brownfield sites that had planning permission.
The deputy prime minister agreed that the physical condition of the buildings made them particularly unsuited to meeting the requirements of modern industrial businesses. There was a need to bring forward sites for housing in sustainable locations, he added. Although the scheme was in conflict with development plan policies seeking to maintain the supply of existing employment sites, he concluded that the need to provide additional housing land was of overriding importance.
DCS No: 32129775; Inspector: Stephanie Chivers; Inquiry.