A developer has been granted planning permission to build houses in a small country village despite opposition from the local council.
The developer had applied for outline planning permission for the site, which was on agricultural land north of the village. The local authority refused permission and the developer appealed to the Secretary of State, whose inspector recommended that permission be granted.
At the time of the inspector’s recommendations, the local development plan was outdated. A new local plan with revised policies was adopted after the inspector’s report and the parties provided further submissions regarding the new policies.
The Secretary of State concluded that the village’s development was stable and that it could accommodate a larger share of new homes than other villages.
He found that there was a limited degree of conflict with the authority’s new housing policy, which stated that there should not be developments of more than 20 homes in any location at one time in a single phase, and found that there would be no significant material harm if the development progressed more rapidly.
The local authority had previously granted planning permission for another residential development nearby. The authority appealed the decision but the High Court ruled in favour of the developer and the Secretary of State.
It held that the Secretary of State had correctly interpreted the policy: it did not impose a ceiling on the number of homes permitted to be built, but said that no more than 20 should be built in one phase.
His judgment was that there would be no significant material harm if the development progressed more rapidly than the policy allowed. He had not said that the policy permitted the development; he had recognised the conflict but described it as “limited”.
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Developer wins right to build houses in country village
CHERWELL DISTRICT COUNCIL (Applicant) v SECRETARY OF STATE FOR COMMUNITIES & LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Respondent) & GLADMAN DEVELOPMENTS LTD (Interested Party) (2016)
QBD (Admin) (Singh J) 04/08/2016