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Pickles blocks 111 Leicestershire homes

Secretary of state (SoS) Eric Pickles has dismissed a planning appeal for a residential development in Broughton Astley in Leicestershire (33-page / 320KB PDF) because he considered the scheme to conflict with an adopted neighbourhood plan for the area.23 Apr 2014

The appeal had been lodged following Harborough District Council's refusal of the proposals in 2012. Pickles dismissed the appeal against the recommendation of a Planning Inspector who had concluded that any adverse impacts of the scheme did not outweigh the benefit the scheme would bring to the Council's housing land supply.

The SoS said he agreed with the Inspector that the Council did not have a five year housing supply and that the contribution that the appeal proposal would make to increasing supply weighed "substantively in favour of the appeal".

However, he said that the adverse impacts of the appeal proposal, especially in terms of conflicts with the neighbourhood plan for the area, would "significantly and demonstrably" outweigh those benefits.

Pickles said that the proposals conflicted with site allocation policies set out in Broughton Astley Neighbourhood Plan, which was made part of the Council's development plan in January this year. He noted a policy under the National Planning Policy Framework which states that, where a planning application conflicts with a neighbourhood plan that has been brought into force, planning permission should not normally be granted.

The SoS said he considered that neighbourhood plans, once made part of the development plan, "should be upheld as an effective means to shape and direct development in the neighbourhood planning area in question, for example to ensure that the best located sites are developed".

Pickles said that the conflict with the neighbourhood plan meant that the proposals conflicted with the development plan as a whole. He concluded that there was "no material circumstances that indicate the proposal should be determined other than in accordance with the development plan".