Housing Mix Mix Up by David Manley QC
Land south of Bar Lane, Knaresborough, Appeal Ref: APP/E2734/”/16/3155389
Decision date: 28.04.17
Appeal by Gleeson Development Ltd/Avant Homes against non-determination by Harrogate BC
Counsel for the Appellants: David E Manley QC
Counsel for Harrogate: John Hunter
This case dealt with an increasingly common issue, namely attempts by LPAs to control housing mix in planning applications. A full application had been submitted for 78 houses with predominantly four and five bedroom market housing, and an appeal was lodged on the ground on non-determination. The LPA contested the appeal on the basis that the mix had a poor relationship to the SHMA which looked for predominantly one, two and three bedroom houses. It claimed that NPPF Paragraph 50 and Core Strategy Policy 1 allowed it to seek a better mix. The Inspector rejected all the LPAs claims stating that as the SHMA had not been consulted upon or tested at an EiP it could only carry limited weight and that there was no evidence it was intended to be used in determining individual applications. Paragraph 50 ibid was said to be a Plan-making policy only and therefore not appropriate for use as a DC tool. CS1 was said to be a general aspirational policy for use in crafting Allocations Document policies and was not for use as a DC tool in fixing mix, albeit it was a material consideration.
A copy of the decision can be found here.