Complex and strategically important development

Can anyone help out with a definition of ‘complex and strategically important development’?

Two recent appeal decisions have given us pause for thought on this matter. In the first, concerning nine dwellings, the inspector explained that “Paragraph 21a-010-20140306 of the PPG advises that only in exceptional circumstances can a negatively worded condition requiring a planning obligation or other agreement to be entered into before certain development can commence be appropriate such as in the case of more complex and strategically important development where there is clear evidence that the delivery of the development would otherwise be at serious risk.  As the proposal is for only nine dwellings I do not consider it to be either complex or strategically important.” Thus, she could only give limited weight to the social benefit of affordable housing (DCS Number 400-014-625). In the second appeal, seeking outline approval for twelve dwellings, the inspector was “satisfied that affordable housing could be secured through the imposition of a planning condition.” (DCS Number 400-014-624).

So, what might constitute ‘complex and strategically important development’. Is it ten dwellings, is it eleven dwellings or is it that – say these two words quietly – *nobody knows*?

The following DCP section is relevant: 4.61

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