DLP Planning Ltd, working with BE1 Architects, has successfully secured outline planning permission on appeal, with full costs, for a scheme of 30 dwellings on land at Howards Close, Wilstead, Bedfordshire.
The initial planning application, a resubmission of a previous adverse decision, was recommended for approval by the Case Officer on the basis that the Council cannot demonstrate a five year land supply, and so the titled balance was engaged. Contrary to Officers recommendation however, the Council’s Planning Committee refused planning permission on the basis that (i) the application was premature and prejudicial to the plan making process; and (ii) development would be harmful to highway safety.
In allowing the appeal, the Inspector rejected the Council’s case and agreed with DLP that the status of Wilstead as a Key Service Centre, the distribution of development in the emerging Local Plan, and the scale of development sought, the application would not be premature. Moreover, in exercising the tilted balance, the Inspector found that the provision of much needed new housing would boost supply, and the economic benefits of construction and the ongoing support for local facilities and businesses were significant benefits and outweighed any adverse harm.
In relation to highway safety concerns, given the absence of any technical objection, the Inspector found no evidence to substantiate the harm alleged, and overall the Inspector found the Council to have acted unreasonably and made a full costs award.