Revocation of SEP does not necessarily mean that the evidence base is no longer applicable”

01 Jan 2018


In allowing Bellway Homes (South East) Limited’s appeal for residential development on land at Billingshurst , the Inspector stated

“Although the SEP has been revoked, its housing requirement figures are the most recent figures that have been tested through an examination process. Just because a regional spatial strategy has been revoked does not necessarily mean that the evidence base which underpinned its policies is no longer applicable.

He rejected Horsham District Council’s argument that the older Core Strategy housing provision figures should be relied upon post the revocation of the SEP.  “The Council is relying on out of date figures and ignoring more up to date, tested evidence.

He also rejected their argument that a residual approach to addressing a shortfall in housing land supply was appropriate because Horsham’s HLS was based on two strategic sites which had not delivered as originally anticipated. In a sentence which will be most welcome by those grappling with such issues the Inspector was crystal clear. What Horsham should have done was to identify other sites so that its housing requirement could be met.

Of the Council’s argument that the release of the site on appeal sat uneasily with the Government’s commitment to letting local communities have their say on planning matters he concluded ” the resolution of this tension involves the Council carrying on planning matters.”

Mary Cook appeared for Bellway Homes. Read the appeal decision here: Deux Avenue DECISION

Read other recent housing appeal decisions of Mary’s here:

Buckingham: Buckingham DECISION

Malmesbury:Land South of Filands, MALMESBURY, Wiltshire Decision letter