The following snippet from an appeal against the refusal of outline permission for a bungalow in rural Hampshire brought a wry smile (DCS Number 400-011-996). The inspector recorded that at the time when the appeal was submitted there was no dispute between the parties that the proposal would require a contribution towards affordable housing in accordance with the requirements of saved core strategy policies. However, the PPG had since been amended to state that contributions should not be sought from developments of 10 units or less, or 5 in designated rural areas, which included the case before her. She continued:
“I have received representation from the Council that, in their opinion, due to the urgent need for affordable housing in the District and the important role that smaller sites have in providing affordable housing in the District greater weight should be given to the Council’s adopted development plan policy for the provision of affordable housing than the weight to be given to Government policy on the thresholds for infrastructure contributions.”
Well, maybe. In a parallel universe….
The inspector was able to sidestep the debate, concluding that even if she were to accept that the requirement for affordable housing in the district outweighed the amended policy within the PPG the severe harm to the character and appearance of the area would outweigh the limited benefits associated with the contribution received towards affordable housing.
The following DCP chapter is relevant: 7.33