Legal Uncertainty Kills Aylesbury Vale Neighbourhood Plan

I wept today because right had been done.

Not justice?

No, not justice. Right. Easy to do justice. Very hard to do right.

The Winslow Boy

The forthcoming Tannenhall JR was bound to kill off forthcoming NP exminations where there was no up to date adopted plan, especially as in Aylesbury Vale where the local plan was found unlawful and unsound.

Inspector’s Letter Winslow Plan

Update:  Ive been sent the legal submissions here and here

The Leeds Inspector Gets it Badly Wrong in Requiring a Full Green Belt Review

Recently at Solihill and Reigate and Bansted inspectors have found sound plans sound with partial Green Belt reviews.  On both cases the inspectors said there was no need to review sites well away from the urban area and services and in the R&B case the inspector said that unless it was a sustainable urban extension it would be sprawl and the NPPF only presumes for sustainable development and protects the Green Belt purpose of reducing sprawl.

How then can the Leeds inspector propose:

(viii) To undertake a [delete the word selective]review of the Green belt (asset out in Spatial Policy 10) to direct  development consistent with the overall strategy,


(v) A [delete selective review of the Green Belt will need to be carried out to accommodate the scale of ]
housing and employment growth identified in …
Exceptionally, sites [delete outside add unrelated] to the Main Urban Area, Major Settlements and Smaller Settlements, Settlement Hierarchy could be considered, where they will be in sustainable locations and are able to provide a full range of local facilities and services and within the context of their Housing Market Characteristic Area, are more appropriate in meeting the spatial objectives of the plan than the alternatives within the Settlement Hierarchy. Otherwise review of the Green Belt will not be considered to ensure that its general extent is maintained.

The sustainable locations test is not the only one and a major error by both Leeds in proposing such a loosely worded policy unrelated to the purposes of Green Belt in the NPPF and to the inspector sadly for making it much worse.

At the very least the policy should add after hierarchy ‘and these benefits outweigh the contribution of the area to Green Belt purposes (NPPF para. 80) sufficient to meet the exceptional circumstances test (NPPF para. 83  ) or else there will be a lot of JRs I imagine.

Redbridge Delays Green Belt Review Ahead of Elections

Had I known about this last Sept I would have reported it

Ilford Recorder

Campaigners battling to stop a potential development of 1,000 homes on playing fields in Barkingside are celebrating a small victory after Redbridge Council stopped a review of green belt land.

Oakfield sports ground, in Forest Road, and land used by the Hainault and Clayhall Cricket Club, was one of the sites deemed suitable for development in the council’s Core Strategy Review.

Green belt land in Barkingside, Goodmayes and Woodford Green was also up for grabs but in a shock urgent statement to yesterday’s full council meeting, planning boss Cllr Alex Wilson announced the controversial review was being scrapped.

He said: “I’m all too aware of the public concern about the potential release of Oakfield Playing Fields from the green belt.

“I am requesting that the Local Development Framework committee undertakes a fresh review of alternative strategies to ensure our revised policy will continue to meet the borough’s needs whilst addressing the concerns that have been raised.

“This new study will be thorough and wide-ranging, and it will not be rushed.”

There will be a fresh public consultation on the new green belt review.

Members of the Save Oakfield Site, who collected more than 1,400 signatures in petitions against any development, turned out to the meeting at Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford, in force.

One member of the group urged the council to look at brown field sites for development instead and another asked what profit they could have made from a sale to developers.

Deputy Labour group leader Cllr Wes Streeting slammed the announcement as a “knee-jerk reaction” to public opposition ahead of council elections next year.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Richard Hoskins said disposal of the green belt could be one of the council’s “biggest decisions” that should not be taken in the “frenzy” of election campaigns.

He added: “There will be those in the borough that quite rightly cherish open space and we are very fortunate for having so much of it, but there will be those who argue selling that site will create a whole new opportunity.”

East Devon Win Key appeal as 5 year Shortfall is ‘Short term’ as Local Plan EIP opens

Key lesson here you are much more likley to defend a S78 if your EIP is about to open.

IEP programme here 

From the addedum note

The development dismissed on appeal is a mixed use development, comprising a
Business Development Unit (BDU); Offices, Workshops; Residential evelopment; Play Area and Sportsfield with 2 football pitches, MUGA, pavilion and parking, with all supporting infrastructure, including a spine road. The appeal site covered a much larger area than the sites allocated for development in the Local Plan (118B, allocated for employment and recreation and reserve site E315). It extends northwards beyond 118B and E315 into the green wedge by some additional 250m (on the western side) and 125m (on the eastern side) so that the remaining ‘gap’ between Seaton and Colyford was barely more than a field wide in places. In reaching his decision the Inspector stated that, due to the undermining of the effectiveness of the Green Wedge policy the scheme was “not considered to meet all three strands of the NPPF’s role for sustainable development, and that the shortfall in housing land supply is not so severe as to justify overriding these concerns at this stage”. He went on to say that “the housing shortfall although significant is – arguably – relatively shortterm, whereas the erosion of separation between Colyford and Seaton would be permanent, and should not be acceded to lightly”.

It is considered that the Inspectors decision is not at odds with the Local Plan
‘reserve site’ approach as he recognised that some development could take place
without excessive harm.