Gravityscan Badge Pickles approves homes despite neighbourhood plan 'body blow' warning — Alrewas Neighbourhood Plan

Pickles approves homes despite neighbourhood plan ‘body blow’ warning

By Catherine Early Monday, 02 September 2013

The communities secretary has approved 100 homes in Cheshire against the recommendation of an inspector, who judged that allowing the appeal would be 'intensely damaging' to a parish council's intention to develop a neighbourhood plan.

Developer Fox Strategic Land and Property applied for permission for up to 100 homes in Tarporley, mid-Cheshire in 2011. The application went to appeal after Cheshire West and Chester Council failed to make a decision on the development.

The developer claimed that housing land supply was in chronic deficit in the area and that policies in the local plan were out of date, therefore the housing should be allowed on the grounds of a presumption in favour of sustainable development.

But the development was opposed by Tarporley Parish Council, which argued that there was significant local opposition to the project. Development should be plan-led by local people, and allowing the project to go ahead would damage the government’s intentions of localism, it said.

The parish council is in the process of drawing up a neighbourhood plan for the area.

In his report, the inspector said: "The parish council … quite clearly has no interest in freezing the village as it exists at present, but rather wishes to take the opportunity to guide its development in the manner it considers to be right for local people.

He said: "Allowing this appeal would, without doubt, be seen as a forceful body blow to that aspiration".

"It is very clear to me, from all that I have seen and heard, that the impact of allowing this appeal, locally at least, on those policy intentions in respect of encouraging neighbourhood planning that are central to the Framework, would be intensely damaging".

But communities secretary Eric Pickles disagreed, saying that he would attach "relatively limited weight" to the neighbourhood plan, since none had yet been published.

He acknowledged that this decision "is likely to be demotivating for the Parish Council" but that the housing development "would bring a number of significant benefits, some of which carry significant weight". Outline planning permission should be granted, he concluded.

via Pickles approves homes despite neighbourhood plan 'body blow' warning.

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