A recovered appeal issued today north of Basingstoke. At 650 homes total probably the largest post NPPF greenfield site yet.
The Basingstoke local plan was delayed following a successful JR because it said land it owned was ‘undeliverable’ It has now finally been submitted allocating this area for 450 not 650 homes.
The Secretary of State agrees with the Inspector that, against the background of a serious and significant shortfall in housing land supply in Basingstoke, the proposals would provide between 11 and 26% of the shortfall in the first 5 years of the emerging Local Plan period
The Secretary of State notes that there is a difference in interpretation of paragraphs 17 and 18 of The Planning System: General Principles. However, for
the reasons in IR9.5.1-9.5.8, he agrees with the Inspector that, regardless of which interpretation is accepted, there is no justification for a prematurity argument in this
Thats interesting, lets see what the inspector said
Although the Framework does not mention prematurity, the PSGP does. The appellant and BDBC disagree on the interpretation of PSGP paragraphs 17 and 18. The appellant maintains, in the light of the first bullet point in paragraph 18, that there cannot be a prematurity argument as there is not yet even a consultation draft Local Plan and refers to a number of previous appeal decisions in support of that view. However, there is no evidence that arguments about paragraphs 17 and 18 were raised in those cases. BDBC maintains that the two paragraphs address two different circumstances and that in this case it is paragraph 17, which is concerned with pre-empting decisions not yet made in the Local Plan process, that would apply…
There is a difference in interpretation of PSGP paragraphs 17 and 18 but regardless of which interpretation is accepted there is no justification for a
prematurity argument. Either there is no case as there is a housing shortfall and not even a consultation draft Local Plan, or the proposals would not be
so substantial, or cumulatively so significant, that the plan would be prejudiced in terms of scale, location or phasing. Indeed, although prematurity was a reason for refusal in both appeals, Officers informed Members that there was ‘no defendable position’ for a refusal on prematurity grounds
Note there is no such ambiguity in the new draft guidance on prematurity.