The Importance of Plan Led Development and Good Design

25 Nov 2022

Planning Permission refused for 375 dwellings at Land East of Newgate Lane East, Fareham: 23 November 2022.

This s.78 planning inquiry related to proposed housing development beyond the built-up area boundary. The appeal into an outline application for 375 dwellings was dismissed because of impact on the strategic gap, landscape character and views and conflict with the Council’s spatial strategy.

On the main issues Inspector Mike Worden BA (Hons) DipTP MRTPI, an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government held that, should the proposal proceed, it would cause harm to the character and appearance of the area and would significantly affect the integrity of the Strategic Gap and the physical and visual separation of settlements. The proposal would conflict with the key Local Plan Policy DSP40, undermining the Council’s Spatial Development Strategy. The Appeal should be dismissed even in the face of a significant housing land supply shortfall.

The Development Plan applicable to Fareham contains a specific policy, Policy DSP40, which is triggered in the absence of a five year supply of housing land. Inspector Worden found that in that sense it acts in the way that paragraph 11d seeks to in the absence of a five year supply. Its criteria are broadly consistent with the provisions of the Framework in for example recognising the intrinsic nature of the countryside and seeking to secure development which is high quality design and sympathetic to local character.

Inspector Worden also distinguished a decision allowing an appeal at a hearing held in respect of land immediately to the south of the appeal site (“the Brookers Lane appeal”). He specifically addressed how Policy DSP40 should be applied in the present circumstances as opposed to those which existed at the time of that appeal:

95. The Inspector at the Brookers Lane appeal considered that DSP40 may be unduly restrictive given the persistence of the housing land shortfall in spite of the policy. For the reasons set out in my decision, I consider that circumstances in this appeal are different to those which existed in those cases given the extent of the shortfall and the steps made by the Council to addressing it and to progressing the emerging Local Plan. I therefore consider that the policy carries significant weight.”

Read more and find a copy of the decision here.

David Lintott acted for the Fareham Council Local Planning Authority in the Inquiry. Christopher Boyle K.C. acted for the Appellants. Cornerstone Barristers regularly acts for both Local Planning Authorities and Developers in a wide range of planning matters.

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