Our planning team was appointed to lead on an appeal after already securing planning permission at appeal for 170 dwellings in Sileby, Leicestershire, last year on behalf of David Wilson Homes East Midlands.
The appeal for dwellings on land off Barkby Road, Queniborough, was granted by The Planning Inspectorate following a four-day Inquiry. Charnwood Borough Council originally refused the development because the proposed development would negatively impact a defined Area of Local Separation (ALS) between the settlements of Queniborough and Syston.
Our planning team acted on behalf of David Wilson Homes East Midlands to successfully argue that while the proposals would reduce the ALS in overall terms, the development would not reduce the distance between the two settlements, would sit within the existing confines of the built form of Queniborough and thus the impacts would not be significant.
Our planning experts submitted the appeal before providing evidence at the inquiry alongside a variety of professionals specialising in landscape, highways, affordable housing, healthcare, ecology, arboriculture and legal.
All parties agreed that the Local Planning Authority could not demonstrate a five-year housing land supply, the Inspector agreed that whilst there would be a policy conflict as a result of the site's location outside of the defined settlement, only limited weight should be afforded to the breach.
The planning authority advanced an argument that the emerging Local Plan, currently under examination, would shortly be adopted providing the requisite housing supply. It was argued that housing completions from an allowed appeal would not take place ahead of the adoption – implying that limited weight should be applied in the planning balance to the provision of housing.
Our team successfully undermined this argument, challenging progress of the local plan examination and outstanding matters to be undertaken. The Inspector agreed that any such breaches with emerging policies should only be afforded limited weight as unresolved objections to the emerging plan remain and it remains unclear when the likely adoption will take place.
The Inspector also agreed that the provision of market housing and affordable housing should carry substantial weight in the planning balance given the levels of need and delivery to date. In addition, the Inspector agreed that the overprovision of public open space should be afforded substantial weight, with other economic and environmental benefits arising from the scheme.
Our team successfully argued that the harms arising from the proposed development would be significantly and demonstrably outweighed by the benefits, with the Inspector granting planning permission.
One of our partners, Angela Brooks, who led the appeal, said: “We are extremely pleased to achieve planning permission at appeal on behalf of David Wilson Homes. We successfully led the appeal process, working alongside a team of experts, and as well as achieving planning permission, the team were also able to challenge the development contributions and successfully argued that the healthcare contributions sought were not necessary to make the development acceptable, resulting in a significant saving for the client. It comes off the back of another successful appeal in Charnwood in similar circumstances just last year. With fewer development sites coming to the market, it is increasingly challenging for housebuilders to secure land, so this is a fantastic result for David Wilson Homes.”