In a sweeping success for local residents' group, Stand Against Lodge Farm Village (SALFV), Inspector Mike Hayden has found the proposed allocation of 1,500 homes in open countryside at Lodge Farm to be "not positively prepared, justified as an appropriate site, effective in addressing the cross-boundary unmet needs of Coventry or consistent with national policy in enabling the delivery of sustainable development".
In particular, the Inspector accepted SALFV's arguments that the proposed allocation by Rugby Borough Council:
- Was in a location that could not be made sustainable in transport terms.
- Would cause significant harm to the intrinsic beauty and character of the countryside in this part of the borough.
- Was in a location of numerous designated and non-designated heritage assets and an area characterized by small-scale villages.
- Was not necessary to support the Borough's infrastructure requirements.
The Inspector, therefore, found it necessary to advise the deletion of the entire Lodge Farm allocation to make the plan sound.
A copy of the Inspector's letter can be found here.
Ashley Bowes advised and appeared for SALFV at the Examination in Public held over two weeks in January 2018 (instructed by Lisa Foster, Richard Buxton Environmental & Public Law Solicitors).
Ashley has particular expertise in representing parties at local plan examinations and in onward litigation in the courts. He is currently representing the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government in the High Court to defend the decision of an Inspector not to allocate land in a local plan.