The council accepted that the appeal site fell below the 0.5ha threshold at which its draft housing policies required the provision of affordable units. However, it argued that the site, when taken in conjunction with adjoining land allocated for housing development in both the adopted and emerging local plans, should make some contribution to affordable housing needs.
The inspector noted that the total potential residential site identified in the adopted and emerging local plans extended to 0.6ha. She acknowledged that the appellants had experienced difficulty in acquiring all seven land ownerships and had therefore proceeded to make an application for the part of the land that they controlled.
Despite this difficulty, she decided that the appeal site should contribute to affordable housing needs because it seemed likely that at least part of the remaining land would be developed for housing in the future. She determined that this requirement should be met through a financial contribution towards off-site provision embodied in a submitted section 106 obligation, thereby allowing a high quality of design to be maintained.
DCS No: 32913507; Inspector: Daphne Mair; Hearing.