The site contained seven units occupied by three businesses. The inspector attached particular weight to paragraph 42(a) of PPG3, which states that local planning authorities should favourably consider housing on land containing industrial buildings that are no longer needed. There was no substantial evidence to indicate that building homes on the appeal site would compromise economic development or regeneration strategies, he found.
The council argued that if the development were to be approved, the developer should pay a capital contribution towards affordable homes in addition to the provision of free serviced land. This was justified because local authority finance reforms prevented it from grant-aiding registered social landlords, it argued.
The inspector found little justification for requesting an additional payment from a developer that was prepared to provide land for affordable housing in the development free of charge. He agreed that national policy on affordable housing provides a degree of flexibility over how it is secured, but noted that there was no mention of capital contributions in PPG3 or relevant circulars. He therefore rejected the council's demand.
DCS No: 100039106; Inspector: Mike Moffoot; Inquiry.