The developer, Gleeson Homes and Regeneration, had appealed against Sheffield City Council's refusal of planning permission, which was mainly on the ground of poor design.
The Council's view was that the scheme was not of a sufficiently high quality of design and therefore would not improve the area. A spokesman for Gleeson homes said that the company was "astounded when the council refused our plans on design". The Secretary of State's view was that although the scheme would not be innovative architecture neither would it, when taken as a whole, be considered poor design. The overall conclusion on the issue of design was that the scheme would "respect and enhance the character and appearance of the locality" and that this added "significant weight" in its favour, according to the decision letter.
"We are delighted that the Secretary of State has overruled Sheffield City Council’s decision and granted us permission to transform this vacant land into new homes which will be priced to suit local people," said a spokesman for Gleeson Homes.
The housing land supply position in Sheffield City Council's area was an important issue that was also considered during the consideration of the appeal. The Council agreed that it only had 50% of the required five year housing land supply and that was before the required 5% or 20% buffer was applied. Consequently the inspector found that the Council's development plan was out of date and that this was "highly material" to the scheme being proposed.
Owing to the Council's out of date housing policies the Secretary of State concluded that the National Planning Policy Framework's presumption in favour of sustainable development was engaged. The result of this was that the Secretary of State was required to grant planning permission unless the adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits. The Secretary of State agreed with the inspector that there were no adverse impacts that significantly and demonstrably outweighed the benefits.