The council's local plan identified the land as suitable for compulsory acquisition with the aim of improving local amenity and open space provision. The council's offer to purchase the site for £20,000 was rejected by the appellants, who applied for a certificate confirming that it was suitable for residential development. The council highlighted a reporter's decision last year to refuse permission for homes on the land because of its local plan allocation.
The reporter decided that the local plan policy had to be disregarded. He cited various legal cases indicating that decision-makers should approach the issue of appropriate alternative development as though any scheme underlying compulsory acquisition had been cancelled. He could find nothing in the local plan to justify refusing housing development on the site. He agreed that careful attention would need to be paid to overall design and use of materials but found it clear that the land would be suitable for housing.
DCS Number 100-050-414
Reporter Malcolm Mahony; Written representations.