Casebook: Urban village plan snubbed as prejudicial to plan review

The deputy prime minister has refused outline planning permission for a mixed-use urban village in Cheshire after a call-in inquiry, ruling that it would prejudice the outcome of a local plan review covering the scale and location of new housing in the borough.

The Winnington Urban Village Consortium's application covered a 56ha site, the majority of which comprised redundant industrial land. The proposed development included up to 1,200 dwellings, a primary school, a village centre, community facilities and land for new employment.

The deputy prime minister agreed that the scheme would provide a mixed-use development on a brownfield site in a sustainable location. It would provide an acceptable mix of dwelling types with facilities that would meet the needs of residents, he determined.

However, he decided that to grant permission for such a substantial number of new houses would pre-empt decisions on future housing provision. This was a particularly significant factor given the over-supply of housing land in the borough and a forecast reduction in housing requirements to 2016. If permission were granted the scope for approving other sites would be substantially reduced, he concluded.

He also noted that the scheme would provide only ten per cent of the units as affordable homes, well below the council's objective of achieving an average of 30 per cent across the borough. Although the scheme would provide other planning benefits, he decided that these did not justify accepting the inappropriate level of affordable housing.

DCS No: 35248226; Inspector: Ed Simpson; Inquiry.

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