Paul Tucker Q.C. and Killian Garvey, instructed by Barton Willmore, fought two conjoined appeals in Colne for a 90 dwelling scheme and a 270 dwelling scheme. The appeals engaged significant issues in respect to landscape, heritage, highways and sustainability. After considering the evidence, the Inspector granted consent for the smaller scheme and refused consent for the larger scheme.
The appeals were extremely hard fought, by both the Council and Lidgett and Beyond, a Rule 6 party represented by Freddie Humphries. Both the Council and Lidgett and Beyond advanced significant evidence and expertise to substantiate their resistance of the scheme.
There was also significant local opposition to the scheme. Indeed, a public session attracted in excess of 80 people, including a local Member of Parliament and several councillors.
Whilst it was common ground that the Council did not have a five-year housing land supply, the significance of this concession was diluted in light of the fact that the Inspector found that both appeals would result in less than substantial harm to the setting of a heritage asset and the Lidgett and Bents Conservation Area. Accordingly, the restrictive planning balance at paragraph 134 of the National Planning Policy Framework displaced the paragraph 14 presumption in favour of sustainable development. Consequently, the Inspector identified conflict with the Council’s recently adopted development plan (December 2015).
Nevertheless, despite these unfavourable conclusions, it was demonstrated to the inspector that the overall balance of material considerations in respect to the 90 dwelling scheme still weighed in favour of granting planning permission.
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