Published: Thursday, 22nd September 2016
Communities Secretary highlights Neighbourhood Plans as a key factor in each of his decisions to dismiss schemes in East and West Sussex and near Bath…
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has disagreed with his inspector and dismissed a recovered appeal for 100 dwellings, 30 per cent of which would be affordable, at Yapton in West Sussex.
This was despite the council being unable to demonstrate a five-year supply of land for housing and agreeing that the policies in the Yapton Neighbourhood Plan (NP) restricting development outside of settlement boundaries were out of date.
However, the SoS placed substantial weight on the conflict with the “social element of sustainability” in the made NP.
Meanwhile the SoS has also dismissed two other appeals involving sites in areas covered by neighbourhood plans. In both cases the refusals were in line with the recommendations of the inspectors who held the recovered inquiries.
The first involved an outline proposal for a 32-dwelling scheme on land at Bishop Sutton that was refused by Bath & North East Somerset Council.
Javid wasn’t satisfied that the council could convincingly demonstrate a five-year housing land supply across the district as a whole and acknowledged that policies on housing supply were out of date.
He agreed there were significant housing benefits to the scheme and that the village has sufficient capacity in terms of facilities and services to accommodate the new housing. However, he concluded that the scheme fell down on the objective of providing a reasonable match between jobs and dwellings to help reduce travel distances to work. This called into question the scheme’s overall sustainability.
The third development involved outline plans for a development of 70 dwellings (including affordable housing), a sports and community building, tennis courts, synthetic turf playing pitch amenity and open space at Ringmer in East Sussex refused by Lewes District Council.
The SoS noted the benefits of the scheme but considered there would be harm to the environmental role in relation to heritage assets and landscape as well as harm to the social role in terms of the conflict with the neighbourhood plan.