Its all about the weight given to various policy designations

15 March 2018

Planning magazine reports that a number of recent Secretary of State decisions in which the harm caused by development proposals has been judged to outweigh the benefits, even though the councils in question could not show a five-year supply of housing land.

POS suggests it is almost impossible to generalise about any themes running through the Secretary of State's decisions on applications where lack of a five-year housing supply has been identified. "It all goes back to the weight given to various policy designations," said consultant Nicky Linihan, housing delivery specialist for the Planning Officers Society. "The decisions are based on balancing those, taking the circumstances of each case on its merits."

Linihan pointed to a countervailing decision last autumn in which housebuilder Taylor Wimpey was granted permission to build 348 homes at the Oaklands College further education campus in St Albans, Hertfordshire. "Despite the fact the scheme would cause harm to the character of the green belt, the council could not demonstrate a five-year supply and the Secretary of State ruled that the delivery of benefits to the college outweighed that harm," she noted.

Category Planning news