QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
B e f o r e :
|SOUTH SHROPSHIRE DISTRICT COUNCIL||(CLAIMANT)|
|THE FIRST SECRETARY OF STATE||(FIRST DEFENDANT)|
|BROADWELL SERVICES||(SECOND DEFENDANT)|
Smith Bernal Wordwave Limited
190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7831 8838
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MR P COPPEL (instructed by the Treasury Solicitor) appeared on behalf of the FIRST DEFENDANT
MR I DOVE QC (instructed by Freethcarewright Solicitors, Nottingham, NG1 2AG) SECOND DEFENDANT
Crown Copyright ©
"The proposal is located in a settlement which does not benefit from a full range of services, facilities and opportunities to use public transport. The proposal thus does not comply with the principles of sustainability set out in the Government's Planning Policy Guidance PPG3 (Housing) which requires development to be in or adjacent to settlements which have such facilities, and which advises Local Planning Authorities to have regard to the policy contained in the PPG3 as material considerations which may supersede the policies in the Plan. The Local Planning Authority considers the proposal to fall within the scope of this advice."
"69. In terms of overall housing provision, only a limited number of housing can be expected to be accommodated in expanded villages. Whilst occasionally a village could be the basis for a new settlement where, for example, the development accords with the policy of developing around major nodes in transport corridors, most proposals for additional housing will involve infill development or peripheral expansion.
"70. Villages will only be suitable locations for accommodating significant additional housing where:
- it can be demonstrated that additional housing will support local services such as schools or shops, which could become unviable without some modest growth. This may particularly be the case where the village has been identified as a local service centre in the development plan;
- additional houses are needed to meet local needs, such as affordable housing, which will help secure a mixed and balanced community (See Annex B); and
- the development can be designed sympathetically and laid out in keeping with the character of the village using such techniques as village design statements.
"71. The government is concerned, however, that there should be adequate housing provision in rural areas to meet the needs of local people. Local planning authorities should therefore make sufficient land available either within or adjoining existing villages to enable those local requirements to be met..."
"I understand however that this Interim Policy has not been the subject of any public consultation, and under the circumstances I am only able to afford it significant weight to the extent that it is in compliance with the general thrust of PPG3."
"I gather it is the intention that the firm would move its main depot to Minsterley about 4 miles closer to Shrewsbury."
"14. Although the appeal proposal is for rather more than the infill plot for 1 or 2 dwellings in an otherwise built-up frontage referred to in paragraph 3 of Policy HG4 and Policy ST1, I do not believe it would constitute the significant quantity of housing provision referred to in paragraph 70 of PPG3. In relation to the primary school to which I have referred, neither party was able to supply firm information concerning numbers on the school role, but both agreed that there does not appear to be any immediate threat to its future. Nor did I receive any indication of a threat to the continued existence of the shop or public house. For a small village there is a relatively frequent daily bus service to Shrewsbury.
"15. PPG3 is concerned with the broad thrust of policy in relation to the provision and location of new housing, and it must be taken into account in relation to the determination of appropriate planning applications. However, in my view the council's interim policy includes both a significant change to existing development plan policy and a fairly radical interpretation of the contents of the PPG in relation to rural housing. As I have indicated in paragraph 8 above, it would be inappropriate to endow the policy with significant weight where it exceeds the requirements of national guidance. On the basis of the comments of the appellant during the hearing, the content of the interim policy is likely to be the subject of an objection if and when it is included in the emerging deposit version of the Local Plan. If agreement cannot be achieved, it would then be the subject of detailed consideration in the more appropriate setting of a Local Plan Inquiry.
"16. In the current case however, although there appears to be little justification for the proposal on the basis of most of the circumstances set out in paragraph 70, in my view the scheme falls to be considered against national policy in respect of rural housing as a whole. As far as the type and scale of the proposed development is concerned, I consider the scheme would fall within the terms of the development described in the latter part of paragraph 69 and the first part of paragraph 71 - it may be characterised as a modest infill development, which, although it would not cater for those in housing need, would nevertheless help to satisfy a local requirement. On this basis, I do not believe the scheme is necessarily in conflict with the PPG.
"17. Taking account of all these matters I have concluded that the appeal site is not unacceptable having regard to national and local policies which seek to promote sustainable development. I also conclude that the proposal would comply with the purposes of Policies 2 and 3 of the emerging Structure Plan."
"I am conscious that in relation to Local Plan Policies HG4 and STI1 the appeal scheme would be appreciably larger than the 1 or 2 dwellings to which they refer. However, I understand from the reasoned justification to these policies that the purpose of the restraint is to ensure that schemes would not be detrimental to the character of the settlement concerned. I note in this regard that the council raises no objection to the revised proposal on the grounds of loss of character or amenity. I agree with this assessment and conclude that the scheme would be in conformity with the requirements of Local Plan Policy GP2."
"... the appeal proposal is for rather more than the infill plot for 1 or 2 dwellings in an otherwise built-up frontage referred to in paragraph 3 of Policy HG4 and Policy STI1."
"I am conscious that in relation to Local Plan Policies HG4 and STI1 the appeal scheme would be appreciably larger than the 1 or 2 dwellings to which they refer."
"As I have indicated in paragraph 8 above, it would be inappropriate to endow the policy with significant weight where it exceeds the requirements of national guidance."
"I have in any event considered this case on its own merits in accordance with the provisions of the development plan and other material considerations."