The East Devon Watch blog has come across a case where having all the presumably-prerequisite planning documents in place does not prevent any unplanned-for applications being forced upon a community:
DEVELOPER FREE-FOR-ALL: YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHING YET!
15 DEC 2015
Hook Norton, Oxfordshire, Cotswolds, 4.5 miles from PMs Chipping Norton home. population around 2,000.
Local plan – tick
Five year land supply – tick
Neighbourhood plan – tick
Local council gets a planning application for 54 houses over and above local plan and neighbourhood plan, next to a dairy. Council says NO – it’s not in our approved Local Plan, not in our approved Neighbourhood Plan and too close to the cows: smelly and insects.
End of development – right?
Developer goes to appeal – planning inspector finds in their favour. Sent to Secretary of State – he agrees.
“In the secretary of state’s view, development of the whole appeal site would not necessarily conflict with [the neighbourhood plan], providing construction were to proceed incrementally in the form of three or more separate phases, each of no more than 20 dwellings built at say five year intervals. In view of this, the secretary of state considers that the degree of conflict between the proposal and [the neighbourhood plan] is limited and he finds no evidence that any significant material harm would ensue if this”, the letter said.
Overall, the letter said that Clark considered that the benefits of the development “would clearly outweigh the harm in terms of the limited conflict with the [neighbourhood plan] and the slight adverse effect on future occupiers as a result of odours generated by the adjacent Redlands Dairy Farm. He therefore concludes that the material circumstances in this case indicate that the appeal should be allowed and outline planning permission granted.”
RESULT: forget your Local Plan, forget your Neighbourhood Plan, forget your 5 year land supply – if a developer wants to build 54 houses next to pong and insects, that’s fine.
So, NPPF, Local Plans, Neighbourhood Plans, five year land supply can ALL be over-ridden by a developer, planning inspector and the Secretary of State.
It is to be hoped that there will be a judicial review – otherwise we might as well all rip up all three documents and leave the developers to it – we will have no planning rights at all.
Developer free-for-all: you ain’t seen nothing yet! | East Devon Watch
It seems that the intentions of those putting together the Neighbourhood Plan were not quiet understood by the Secretary of State:
Clark dismisses odour concerns over 54-home Oxfordshire scheme | Planning Resource
Here is the petition:
Challenge the unfair decision to build 54 new houses in Hook Norton
Hook Norton Neighbourhood Plan
Petition · Challenge the unfair decision to build 54 new houses in Hook Norton · Change.org