The council's adopted local plan identified the site as falling within a rural area of development restraint. However, an emerging development plan document (DPD) identified the site as suitable for housing development and an inspector's report on this designation was due within a few months. The appellants claimed that a decision should be taken immediately in order to rectify a shortage of housing land in the district.
The appeal inspector agreed that allowing the scheme would make a major contribution to increasing housing land supply. However, he felt that it would be inappropriate to allow the appeal at this stage given the imminence of the DPD inspector's report. PPS1, he noted, advises that certainty and predictability are important in delivering sustainable development.
Those who had commented on the DPD allocation might justifiably feel aggrieved if their comments were devalued by approving individual schemes in the interim, he argued. The scheme conflicted with existing development plan policies seeking to protect the countryside and the plan-led system should prevail, he concluded.
DCS Number 100-050-608
Inspector John Woolcock; Inquiry.