Posted 31 October 2016
The Court of Appeal has rejected an appeal by Oadby and Wigston Borough Council against the grant of planning permission on appeal to Bloor Homes Ltd for the development of 150 dwellings at Cottage Farm, Oadby.
Define prepared and submitted the outline planning application, and subsequently presented planning and landscape evidence at the public inquiry that established the need for the development, the absence of a five year land supply, demonstrated how the proposals complied with the planning policy context, and highlighted how they would not result in an unacceptable impact on landscape character and visual amenity.
The Borough Council submitted a high court challenge to the appeal decision and subsequently an appeal to that judgement. The central issue was how should the NPPF be interpreted in circumstances where the Development Plan was adopted pre-NPPF, and the evidence base does not establish a clear “policy off” Full Objectively Assessed Need (FOAN) for the Borough. The SHMA instead relied on the acute need for affordable housing and housing needed to reflect the expected economic growth in the Borough being provided for elsewhere in the Housing Market Area (HMA). In this case at least, the Court held that the FOAN for the purposes of establishing whether a 5 year housing land supply exists (para 49 of the NPPF) is to be identified by reference to the Borough Council’s administrative area, rather than the wider HMA.