Glebelands Appeal Shock Result announcement!

The Secretary of States decision regarding Glebelands Appeal has at long last been released.
Surprisingly the SoS has reversed the Planning Inspectors decision.
Whilst the Inspector has highlighted the serious shortfalls of the Local Plan’s proposals the SoS has taken a more reserved view point.
There is little in the Inspectors report to support the CPBC Local Plan.
Too few housing is indicated meaning more intense scrutiny by residents and the Inspectorate. More painful work is required. More harm to be done to our Green Belt and Borough.
Whilst the Appeal may be turned down, Green Belt remains under intense pressure during the Local Plan process.
It appears this Appeal still has legs to run.
More to follow .

Extracts from the Secretary of States announcement
: “In conclusion on the GB, the Secretary of State has identified: harm by reason of inappropriateness; harm by way of the complete loss of openness; moderate harm in respect of urban sprawl; moderate harm by way of encroachment; moderate harm in respect of the merging of neighbouring settlements; and moderate harm to the visual appearance of this part of the GB. The Secretary of State considers that together this represents a considerable level of harm. In accordance with the NPPF, the Secretary of State attaches substantial weight to this harm to the GB.

The Secretary of State agrees with the Inspector’s analysis of housing land supply at IR297-334. He share’s the Inspector’s conclusions that the requirement figure for assessing the 5-year forward supply should be 2,350 dwellings (IR323).

He also agrees that 333 units is the realistic, deliverable supply (IR332), that this equates to 0.7 years worth of supply (IR333) and that this represents a very significant shortfall against the NPPF’s requirement for a 5-year forward supply (IR334). Whilst the Secretary of State broadly agrees with the thrust of the Inspector’s overall conclusions on land supply and housing delivery, as set out in IR335-340, he does not agree with the Inspector’s comment at IR339 that the current programme for adoption looks somewhat optimistic, especially in the light of the Council’s experience with the now aborted Core Strategy (CS). In the Secretary of State’s view, whilst the now withdrawn CS was in preparation, there were no real drivers to ensure that the Council pressed ahead. With the publication of the NPPF, he is more positive than the Inspector that the Council can achieve its’ programme for LP adoption, especially given the drivers within it. The Secretary of State does not disagree that, apart from its GB status, the present appeal site has no overriding constraints (IR340).

The Secretary of State has had regard to the Inspector’s overall balance at IR363. However, he considers that the harm by reason of inappropriateness, and the other harm identified, is not clearly outweighed by other considerations and he concludes that very special circumstances do not exist to justify a grant of planning permission.

The Secretary of State concludes that the appeal proposals are inappropriate development in the Green Belt. Additionally he has identified harm to the GB’s openness and harm to the GB’s purposes of preventing urban sprawl, preventing encroachment on the countryside and preventing the merging of neighbouring settlements and, furthermore, harm to GB’s character and appearance. He considers that, together, this represents considerable harm, to which he attributes substantial weight. The Secretary of State has found that there are factors in favour of the appeal including a severe lack of a forward housing land supply and that, setting aside GB considerations, development of the appeal site would not cause demonstrable harm. He also wishes to emphasise that national policy is very clear that GB reviews should be undertaken as part of the Local Plan process. In light of all material considerations in this case the Secretary of State is concerned that a decision to allow this appeal for housing in the GB risks setting an undesirable precedent for similar developments which would seriously undermine national GB policy.

Having weighed up all material considerations, he is satisfied that the factors which weigh in favour of the proposal do not clearly outweigh the harm to the Green Belt that would arise from the proposal. The Secretary of State therefore concludes that the appeal should be dismissed.

Formal Decision
Accordingly, for the reasons given above, the Secretary of State disagrees with the Inspector’s recommendation. He hereby dismisses your appeal and refuses planning permission for residential development of up to 165 dwellings, landscaping, open space, access, and associated works at land at Land off Glebelands, Thundersley .”

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