The Strategic Planning Research Unit (SPRU) of DLP Planning Ltd have assisted Freeths LLP in securing outline planning permission for the erection of up to 215 dwellings on Land North of Middlegate Road, Frampton, Boston following a Public Inquiry in September 2017 in Boston on behalf of our clients, Larkfleet Homes.
Roland Bolton of SPRU was an expert witness on Objectively Assessed Housing Need (OAN), and assisted in successfully reducing the five year supply figure. The Inspector stated “I consider that the 5 year housing land supply would be substantially less than the 3.4 years that the Council suggests and may be closer to that suggested by the Appellant.” (Paragraph 49).
In respect of OAN, in responding to the Council’s argument that the assessment of OAN was unnecessary, disproportionate and could prejudice the examination of the emerging local plan, the Inspector stated that: “a section 78 appeal is not the appropriate vehicle through which to assess the FOAN. This should take place in more depth through the Examination process for the emerging local plan where the examiner would have the benefit of detailed evidence and representations from interested parties. That being said any decision that I should make on this matter, based on the evidence before me, would not prejudice or predetermine the findings of the Examination Inspector.” (Paragraph 44). The Inspector considered “it important to assess the extent of the shortfall, how long the deficit is likely to persist and the steps the authority are taking to reduce it in order to apportion weight to the schemes contribution to increasing the supply of housing” (Paragraph 45).
Paragraph 48 of the decision confirms the application of a 10% lapse rate to be appropriate ;”the appellant has also argued that having regard to the high levels of non-implementation in the borough that a lapse rate of 10% should be applied to the housing supply. I note that the percentage of completions to permissions from 2007/08 to 2013/14 stands at 87% and between 2014/15 and 2017/17 at 47%. Taking account of the large number of small sites which make up the Council’s supply, sites at greater risk of non-implementation, I consider a lapse rate of 10% to be appropriate.”
It was considered that as Paragraph 14 of the Framework was engaged, the adverse environmental impacts identified would not significantly or demonstrably outweigh the social and economic benefits, in particular the significant contribution to the shortfall of housing in the area. “Even if the housing shortfall was at the level the Council suggests, the adverse impacts of the proposal would not, in my judgement, outweigh the benefits. The proposal therefore constitutes sustainable development as defined in the Framework.”
The decision notice was issued on 25th October 2017 and outline planning permission was approved.