The secretary of state had granted outline permission in 2003 for up to 2,650 dwellings at an average net density of 32 dwellings per hectare (dpha). Detailed approval had been issued for the first two phases, which had achieved a density of 38dpha. On this basis, only 517 dwellings remained to be built within the terms of the outline permission in the final phase.
Since this would result in the density of the final stage falling significantly below the 30dpha minimum laid down in PPS3, the developers proposed to build a further 1,167 homes, increasing the overall total in the expansion area to 3,300 dwellings. The council and the Highways Agency sought to ensure that the extra homes did not adversely affect the safe operation of a nearby motorway junction. The county council also sought to ensure that financial contributions were made to off-site highway improvements, including enhancing a nearby park-and-ride facility.
The inspector noted that the appellants had reached agreement with the Highways Agency and the county council over the level of financial contributions. Further agreement had been reached with the local authority on affordable housing, public open space and other matters, he recorded. In his opinion, the scheme accorded with development plan policies and the various legal agreements were suitably drafted.
DCS Number 100-050-223
Inspector Michael Hill; Inquiry.