Feniton Landmark Appeal Decision #NPPF but……..

Here on Dropbox if like me you are too lazy it look it up on the portal.

But hold your horses – The Inspector seems to have made a ‘tiny’ bit of an error.

It is not for me, in the context of determining whether specific development proposals should be permitted, to usurp that function of the EiP by forming a view as to whether the housing requirement figure set out in the eLP will meet the objectively assessed housing need for the district: I have neither the remit nor the evidence. I do however need to determine whether the Council is able currently to demonstrate a five year supply of housing land, as required by paragraph 49 of the NPPF.
For that purpose, I agree with the Council, and the other four main parties, that the most appropriate housing requirement figure is that set out in the
Secretary of State’s Proposed Changes to the RSSW.

Is that really tenable anymore – especially in light of the Hunstan properties case? 5 years supply 0h so ok on what basis do you calculate ten years supply when a LP is out of time and the RSS was withdrawn?   I nearly fell off my chair that an inspector was still taking such a position.   It cant be correct, especially in cases where the SEA of the proposed RSS changes were never even finalised- as in WM and SW.

Notably the inspector goes through the wonkish caselaw and precedents on what constitutes a ‘countryside protection policy’  (paras 20-24).  The inspector talks a lot of sense here and the following  quote from the report should really be in national guidance.

the assessment to be made is whether a particular policy is related to the supply of housing, and not whether housing is its sole or main purpose.

So you see I dont only criticise inspectors (who do a difficult job) but also praise them.  In particular I would praise the killer line from the report.

[NPPF Para 14] clearly does not equate to a blanket approval for residential development in locations that would otherwise have conflicted with
Local Plan policies. If the adverse impacts of the proposal (such as harm to the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside) significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, then planning permission should still be refused.

You will be seeing that line a lot in committee reports from now on I think – what a shame the whole decision may be JRd.

No chance to read the whole report forensically- ‘realising the potential of the Omani Piscatorial Economy’ is taking all my time this week (I kid you not – if anyone has a better line than that in a report please send it it gets a prize).