Javid- A Plan can Say Nothing About Something and Not be Silent

Recovered decision 

LAND WEST OF CASTLEMILK, MORETON ROAD, BUCKINGHAM MK18 1YA
APPLICATION REF: 14/02601/AOP

The application site, being outside the settlement boundary, is not allocated for
housing in policy HP1 nor covered by policy HP7 which relates to windfall sites within the settlement boundary. The Secretary of State notes that the Inspector finds no conflict with these policies as he considers that the BNDP does not place a cap on housing numbers norc ontain policies specifically restricting housing development outside the settlement boundary (IR 123). The Inspector, therefore, considers that the BNDP is silent in terms of the proposed development of the application site (IR 189).

Having carefully considered the Inspector’s analysis at IR122-125 and IR 189-191, the
Secretary of State does not agree with the Inspector that the BNDP is silent in terms of the proposed development of the application site as he considers there is a relevant body of policy in the BNDP (summarised at paragraph 5.18 of the Statement of Common Ground between the applicants and AVDC (GEN1)) sufficient to enable the development proposals to be considered. The Secretary of State also disagrees with the Inspector’s conclusion that there is no conflict with policy HP1. The Secretary of State considers that read as a whole, including with the vision for the BNDP and its Introduction, the proposal, being an unallocated site outside the settlement boundary, conflicts with the purpose and effect of  Policy HP1. While there is no cap in the BNDP, and no obvious corollary of the site allocation policy HP1 (i.e. that land not allocated is not supported), the larger housing sites, representing both the acceptable location and level of housing, are specifically identified and allocated in the BNDP. Both larger sites and the smaller windfall sites being confined to within the settlement boundary (HP7). The application site, being both unallocated and outside the settlement boundary, falls within neither category above and, as a consequence, the Secretary of State considers the proposals are not policy compliant.

I would not have out it as the SoS did.  There will be inevitably a JR.  But Javid should prevail.

The mistake I think is reading the NPin isolation from the rest of the DP and one part of the NPPF on ‘silence’ in isolation.

Heres how I would have put it.

  • Para 14 of the NPPF commences with plans meeting objective need
  • Then considers where plans are silent, absent or out of date
  • The AVLP is out of date, it allocates some land for development and protects the open countryside.
  • The NP, using the latest household projections, allocates sufficient land for development to meet a 5 year supply pro-rata.
  • Therefore, read as a whole, the development plan is not out of date or silent.  In allocating land within the NP the implication and intention of the Neighbourhood Planning body was to protect the open countryside outside the development boundary in line with the local plan.  It is the act of the NP in allocation which brings the development plan back into date and  means the LP policy for protection of the countryside remains current.
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3 thoughts on “Javid- A Plan can Say Nothing About Something and Not be Silent

  1. Although having had a closer look at the NP in question perhaps the apparent contradiction is no more than skin deep…

  2. Pingback: @sajidjavid Inconsistency on Development Limits in Made Neighbourhood Plans | Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

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