Monday, 9 February 2015

Neighbourhood plans: communities vs developers? >>>>> >>> the examples multiply >>>

The East Devon Watch blog has highlighted one particular example of a developer unhappy with the strictures of an agreed-to neighbourhood plan:
How far developers will go to sabotage a Neighbourhood plan | East Devon Watch

The house-builder tried to get the plan
Aylesbury Vale District Council • Winslow Neighbourhood Plan
... thrown out, but lost
Gladman appeal fails over neighbourhood plan conflict | Planning Resource
... but is trying once again:
Mix 96 - News - Here We Go Again... Development In Winslow Heads Back To Court
Developers keep on with the fight - Buckingham Advertiser

This blog has considered the determination of developers before 
- the example being in Tattenhall in Cheshire:
Futures Forum: Neighbourhood plans: communities vs developers?

It seems, however, that there are many other towns and parishes in the country who are determined to put together a neighbourhood plan, despite opposition.

Moreover, as the examples below indicate, a neighbourhood plan, even before it has been formally ratified, provides considerable protection to any unwanted or unplanned development.

It seems then that even if a plan has not been completed, it should be taken into account. 
Here is another example from the Vale Of Aylesbury:

Pickles intervenes to halt housing approval in neighbourhood plan area
9 February 2015
Communities secretary Eric Pickles has put on hold plans for 280 homes in Buckinghamshire after a parish council warned that the local council's decision to approve the application would undermine work on its emerging neighbourhood plan.
Pickles intervenes to halt housing approval in neighbourhood plan area | Planning Resource

It seems that even if a neighbourhood plan is not published, that it holds sway, as in this example in Oxfordshire:

Developer and council to go head-to-head
Published 02/02/15
COUNCILLORS in Woodcote are to oppose a planning appeal which they fear could undermine the village’s neighbourhood plan.
Developers Jumquest, from Henley, and Beenlore, from Whitchurch, were refused outline permission for 10 homes at Goats Gambol in April. The 0.89 hectare field off Beech Lane was not earmarked for housing in the neighbourhood plan, which was published a few days later.
Now the companies have appealed to the Planning Inspectorate to overturn South Oxfordshire District Council’s decision, resulting in a three-day public inquiry from April 22 to 24. 
Henley on Thames News | Developer and council to go head-to-head

And a neighbourhood plan in its earlier stages still holds some authority, as in Cheshire:

Pickles dismisses appeal for 35-home scheme in Cheshire neighbourhood planning area
12 Jan 2015
Communities secretary (SoS) Eric Pickles has dismissed an appeal that would have allowed up to 35 homes to be built near the village of Malpas in Cheshire, in an area for which a neighbourhood plan proposal had been submitted.
Mr Paul Corbett applied to Cheshire West and Chester Council in May 2013 for outline permission to build 35 homes on 1.7 hectares of open agricultural land outside Malpas. The Council refused permission in August 2013 and the developer's appeal was recovered for determination by the SoS in September 2014.
Pickles dismisses appeal for 35-home scheme in Cheshire neighbourhood planning area

Developers are even challenging the process, as in Rutland earlier last year;

Developer fails in challenge to Rutland neighbourhood plan
09 Dec 2014
A High Court judge has dismissed developer Larkfleet Homes’ (LH) challenge to Rutland County Council’s (RCC) decision in May to allow the Uppingham neighbourhood development plan (NDP) to proceed to referendum.
Following the designation of Uppingham in Rutland as a neighbourhood plan area in November 2012, Uppingham Town Council, together with community and business groups, prepared a neighbourhood plan allocating three sites for the development of a total of "at least 170 homes" between 2013 and 2026. An examiner recommended a modified version of the plan for referendum in May and 90% of those voting in the referendum on 10 July voted in favour of adoption of the plan.
Developer fails in challenge to Rutland neighbourhood plan

All of this seems to contradict the notions around 'localism', as this case near Darlington seems to prove - where a neighbourhood plan is yet to be initiated:

MP steps into village housing developments row
First published Tuesday 3 February 2015
A GOVERNMENT minister has agreed to meet with representatives of a village that has been flooded with applications for housing developments after the local MP raised the matter in Parliament.
Phil Wilson MP raised a question with Communities and Local Government under secretary Stephen Williams in the House of Commons about the number of developers targeting Middleton St George, near Darlington, despite residents' concerns.
Mr Wilson spoke after developer Gladman won an appeal to build 250 houses on a greenfield site on the edge of the village last month.
Since the ruling, two applications for a further 269 houses have been submitted to planners, as well as proposals to build 400 homes at the nearby Durham Tees Valley Airport.
Mr Wilson said: "The development is against the wishes of the local people and Darlington Borough Council. Local people feel their views are being ignored and have called into question his department’s commitment to localism. Will the minister meet with me to discuss the consequences of the housing development and Middleton St. George’s neighbourhood plan?"
Mr Williams agreed to a meeting, which will be arranged by Mr Wilson at a later date.
Speaking after the parliamentary session, Mr Wilson said: "On the one hand the government is championing localism and wanting local people to take control of where they live but at the same time it is allowing applications like the one from Gladman to go through. There is a need for more housing but the government needs to decide whether the balance comes down in favour of residents or national interests."
Middleton St George Parish Council and ward councillors Doris Jones and Steve York have led the fight against development in the village and are in the process of creating a neighbourhood plan, a legal document setting out where the parish will allow development in future years.
MP steps into village housing developments row (From Darlington and Stockton Times)

On the other hand, if the neighbourhood plan identifies an area for housing, then a developer will step in - although the name of this particular West Sussex company in is surely a touch ironic:

New homes planned for Pagham
Published on the 08 February 2015
PLANS for more than 40 homes have been revealed.
Orchard Homes Development has applied for planning permission for the 42 houses and flats in Pagham.
The company wants to build the estate to the west of Pagham Road.
Its planning agent, Rebecca Gray, said in a statement: "Of the 42 dwellings proposed, 13 are affordable houses to help meet an identified need within the district..."
One house currently stands there with a garden, an orchard and a horse paddock.

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