Posts Categorized: Current thinking

Stalling for time






None of us wishes to see stalled development blighting our cities, one would hope. Nonetheless, an inspector has found that a condition precluding the commencement of development of a site in west Yorkshire before contracts had been let was unnecessary, unreasonable and unenforceable (DCS Number 400-016-396).

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Meaning to say






Sometimes we say things without really thinking through what they mean. We all do it, and the secretary of state is probably no exception. Accordingly, it was very helpful of an inspector, dealing with two called-in applications for a wind farm expansion in Lancashire (DCS Number 200-006-601), to explain the implications of a written ministerial statement to him.

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The plan-led system






In deciding an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for seven houses in north London (DCS Number 400-015-723) an inspector has highlighted the primacy of the development plan.

The proposal did not make provision for a contribution towards affordable housing, the developers drawing attention to national planning policy in the Written Ministerial Statement (WMS) of 28 November 2014, which states that “Due to the disproportionate burden of developer contributions on small-scale developers, for sites of 10-units or less… affordable housing and tariff style contributions should not be sought”. The inspector recorded that the WMS, taken together with the related sections of the Planning Practice Guidance are clear and unequivocal statements of national policy, and as a consequence are considerations to which he attached very considerable weight.

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Prohibited development






More often than not, inspectors will strike out conditions removing permitted development rights, since Planning Policy Guidance advises that conditions restricting the future use of permitted development rights will rarely pass the test of necessity and should only be used in exceptional circumstances. In (DCS Number 400-015-542), however, an inspector decided that protection of the green belt provided those exceptional circumstances.

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Never heard of it






In referring to Dunnett Investments Ltd v SSCLG and East Dorset District Council [2016] an inspector dealing with an appeal against the refusal of a certificate of lawfulness to confirm the unfettered A1 retail use of a unit on a retail park in Newcastle has helpfully set out the judge’s summary of the law on conditions. Take a peek here (DCS Number 400-015-376).

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All wrong






In It’s not fair the Blog criticised the lack of consistency between two appeal decisions (DCS Numbers 400-010-764 and 400-012-610), involving the imposition of conditions requiring planning obligations. The first inspector had decided that it was acceptable to attach a condition requiring a planning obligation in order to ensure that the development was car-free, the second inspector decided that it was not, due to conflict with the PPG.

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