Published: Thursday, 5th November 2015
Communities Secretary Greg Clark has allowed on appeal outline proposals for a 39-home residential development on the edge of a Northamptonshire village.
The scheme was in conflict with the emerging East Barton Neighbourhood Plan (NP). The proposals had been originally blocked by Wellingborough Borough Council.
Intriguingly the decision letter was issued on the day the NP referendum was held. Some 92 per cent of those who voted backed the East Barton NP on a turnout of nearly 28 per cent of those eligible to vote.
The inspector who held the recovered inquiry recommended the appeal should succeed. The Secretary of State agreed with the inspector that the planning authority could not demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land.
And like the inspector he argued that the “limited” harm to the landscape of the scheme was mitigated by the proposed containment of the development by existing hedging, a road and allotments.
The decision letter noted that the scheme was both in conflict with the development plan and the NP. However the SoS acknowledged that the development plan was out of date, the NP had not been “made” and given the absence of a five year supply of sites, the relevant NP policies for the supply of housing could not be considered up to date.
Clark acknowledged that that the conflict with the emerging NP should be given significant weight given the support for the plan locally and its advanced stage.
Nevertheless the SoS concluded that the harm identified was “insufficient to significantly and demonstrably outweigh the acknowledged benefits of this sustainable development”.