A matter of opinion

An inspector has deleted a condition restricting the occupancy of a barn conversion in the Yorkshire Dales to a person who “in the opinion of the Local Planning Authority” satisfied an identified local housing need, ruling it to be imprecise (DCS Number 400-021-404).

The inspector acknowledged that there was a ‘note to the applicant’ at the end of the decision notice which set out categories of need which would be taken into account when assessing demand for affordable housing. However, she pointed out that, as stated in the Planning Practice Guidance, informative notes do not carry any legal weight and cannot be used in lieu of planning conditions or a legal obligation to try and ensure adequate means of control for planning purposes. In the absence of a definition of local housing need she ruled that because of its subjectivity the condition was not precise.

There is further information concerning local occupancy conditions at sections 10.3411 and 9.1411 of DCP Online.