Giles Cannock and Killian Garvey, acting for Ainscough Strategic Land Limited, assisted with securing outline planning permission for the demolition of a cottage and development of approximately 100 dwellings.

The Council sought to resist the development on the basis that it was: (1) contrary to the development plan; (2) would give rise to landscape impacts on a valued landscape; and (3) it was in an unsustainable location.

The Inspector sided with the Appellant’s case, finding that:

  1. the Site was not a valued landscape;
  2. the Site was not well related to existing settlement, but that this should only be afforded limited weight against the development;
  3. whilst there was conflict with the development plan, the Council’s significant shortfall in housing supply justified a permission contrary to the development plan.

Interestingly, the question of the developer’s past performance was considered, following the Council’s case being directed against the specific Appellant.  The Inspector said as follows on the matter:

83. If permission were to be granted it may not be classified as a “deliverable” site utilising the definition in the Glossary of the Framework. The PPG indicates that clear evidence is required to demonstrate that housing completions will begin on site within 5 years, and sets out examples. The Council also queried the appellants’ performance more generally having recently been unsuccessful in two appeals for the development of the Lotmead Farm site, part of a major allocation in the Local Plan. However, it seems to me that what needs to be assessed is an applicant’s performance in delivering a site once planning permission has been granted rather than in gaining a permission in the first place. In this regard no evidence based on past performance of Ainscough Strategic Land Limited (as the development partner) was presented to the Inquiry to show that if permission were to be granted that it would not be delivered expeditiously.

The appeal was also significant in that during it, the new National Planning Policy Framework was published.  This necessitated an adjournment to the inquiry for several months.  However, following the adjournment, both parties agreed that in the context of the specific appeal, the new national policy did not materially change the decision making matrix.  It can be read in full, here

The Appeal team comprised:

Giles Cannock, leading Killian Garvey

Lee Kendall, Curtins, on highways

Mr Charles Mylchchreest, EDP, on landscape

Mr Jeff Richards, Turleys, on planning and 5 year housing land supply assisted by Amy Hickson


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