An inspector determining an appeal against the refusal of outline planning permission for four dwellings in rural Hampshire has distinguished between housing demand and housing need (DCS Number 200-007-965).
Local plan policy allowed for small scale residential proposals of a scale and type that met a locally agreed need, the inspector recorded. The appellants argued that ‘demand’ for housing is synonymous with ‘need’.
The inspector reasoned that the distinction is that if there is a willingness and ability to purchase a home then there is a demand for it. However, if an inability to purchase a home of a required size and type arises, for reasons for example of unaffordability due to low income, then a person does not buy or demand a dwelling, but this does not obviate the housing requirements or needs of that person. She therefore disagreed with the appellants on this point.
In the case before her the inspector concluded that the appellants had not adequately demonstrated a specific and clearly identified unmet housing need in the local area to justify the countryside location of the proposal.
The topic of housing in the open countryside is covered at Section 9.2 of DCP Online.