Weasel words

An appeal decision relating to the refusal of outline permission for “exemplar sustainable self-build development” in Cornwall shows that it takes more than vocabulary to gain permission for housing outside a development boundary (DCS Number 400-013-227).

The inspector had this to say in respect of the proposal’s credentials as ‘exemplar’ development:

“The appellant suggests that the proposal should be considered against the provisions in the fourth bullet point to paragraph 55 of the Framework. This allows, as one of the special circumstances, permission to be granted for an isolated dwelling in the countryside because of the exceptional quality or innovative nature of the design. However, to meet these criteria any dwelling would need to meet these requirements, and as an outline application it is very difficult to show that any dwelling would meet these exceptional requirements. To state that the proposal, as in the description, would be an “exemplar”, is not sufficient; it needs to be demonstrated. There is nothing in the application to indicate that the proposals would be truly outstanding or innovative, and consequently I can give this proposal no additional benefit under these provisions.”

In respect of the ‘sustainable’ claim the inspector concluded that:

“….the appeal site is not well located in an accessible location. Given the distances from the main facilities I give this harm significant weight.”

The DCP Blog makes no objection to the use of ‘exemplar’, or ‘sustainable’ when it is substantiated by evidence but could we all stop devaluing our vocabulary by scattering these words with such carefree abandon when it is not?

The following DCP chapter is relevant: 9.23

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