Local need policy inconsistent with NPPF
A new dwelling was allowed in a Devon village, an inspector deciding that there was no need for local need to be proven (DCS Number 400-010-243). The inspector accepted that the village did not have a defined development boundary, nor was it listed as a settlement within the core strategy. Core strategy policy stated that development would only be permitted outside the listed settlements where it could be delivered sustainably and also in response to a demonstrable local need. He ruled, however, that reference to a demonstrable local need in the policy was a more restrictive approach than the presumption in favour of sustainable development advocated at paragraph 14 of the NPPF. The policy was therefore not wholly consistent with the NPPF, he determined.
The inspector acknowledged that the private car might be used more often than the bus to access the services of the local town but reasoned that this was often the case within settlements, even including the villages listed in the core strategy. The provision of a single dwelling would also have a positive social impact in providing a new dwelling to meet the needs of the appellants and free up their existing home for family occupation.
The definition of ‘isolated’
And in a case concerning the erection of three dwellings in rural Gloucestershire (DCS Number 400-010-244) the inspector examined the meaning of ‘isolated’.
The council argued that in view of its ability to access limited services and its reliance on other nearby settlements, the application site was isolated within the meaning of paragraph 55 of the NPPF. The inspector recorded that there is, however, no definition of the term ‘isolated’ in the NPPF and his attention had been drawn to the approach taken in another appeal decision where the everyday definition of isolated as meaning ‘lonely or remote’ was relied on by the inspector. He agreed with that approach and accordingly used the same definition in determining the appeal before him. The proposed development would be located on the edge of the village, he determined, opposite and adjacent to existing properties and could not in this respect be said to be lonely or remote.
The following DCP chapter is relevant: 9.13