By the book

In determining an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for the redevelopment of a suburban house in Northamptonshire with a care home, an inspector was not persuaded regarding the necessity of a financial contribution to fund increased library provision (DCS Number 400-023-756).

The inspector remarked that he had not been provided with any background information to explain the scale of the requested financial contribution. Furthermore, it had not been made clear as to how the contribution was to be spent, or indeed whether it would be spent on enhancing the services available within the local library.

Interestingly, the inspector noted that the care home operators would be making their own private library provision, such as in communal areas. He recognised that libraries can play a role in providing a venue for social activity, and, as a result, he had regard to the layout of the proposed development, observing that it included several areas where residents might socialise. Accordingly, he concluded that there was not sufficient justification to insist upon a financial contribution towards library provision.

Section 4.61 of DCP Online concerns planning obligations.