Paul G Tucker QC and Philip Robson successful in long awaited appeal decision for a large mixed use scheme in Cheshire
The Secretary of State has agreed with his Inspector and granted consent to Muller Property Group, following a recovered appeal for a mixed use scheme of 189 homes, a local centre, major employment development, primary school, public open space and green infrastructure. The linked appeal for new highways access was also approved.
This case is a testament to the importance of patience in the current system. The long and winding road to success included two planning applications, firstly in 2012, Secretary of State decisions in 2015 and 2016 which were both quashed by the High Court, and a rehearing of the applications at a five day inquiry that closed on 24 February 2018.
In the time between the close of the inquiry and the decision the policy context also evolved: the WMS on housing and planning; the publication of the 2018 HDT; the Government's response to the technical consultation on updates to national planning policy and guidance; the publication of the revised NPPF; and, the updated guidance on how to assess housing needs. This case is a prime example of why it is important to have a strong appeal team that are able to come back together and address in a robust way matters that arise between inquiry and decision.
The decision itself is notable because consent was granted despite the site being unallocated and the Secretary of State concluding that the Council could demonstrate a 5YS. The significant benefits in terms of the provision of market and affordable housing, the extensive public open space and Landscape and Nature Conservation Area, the scope to develop the school and improvements to sustainable transport, outweighed the harms to character and appearance of the countryside.
The decision is a fine example of where sensitive schemes in sustainable locations with the provision of clear social, economic and environmental benefits, can be enough to overcome conflict with the development plan.
Paul and Philip were instructed by Grant Anderson at Hill Dickinson LLP. The expert evidence was provided by Matthew Weddeburn at Knights (5YHLS); Patrick Downes at Harris Lamb (Planning); Jon Berry at Tyler Grange (Landscape) Bill Booker at SCP (Highways), and Ben Pycroft at Emery Planning (5YS).
VIEW THE APPEAL DECISION HERE
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