QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
Royal Courts of Justice
B e f o r e :
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF WILSON CONNOLLY LIMITED||(CLAIMANT)|
|THE FIRST SECRETARY OF STATE||(FIRST DEFENDANT)|
|SWINDON BOROUGH COUNCIL||(SECOND DEFENDANT)|
Smith Bernal Wordwave Limited
190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG
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(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MISS N LIEVEN (instructed by the Treasury Solicitor) appeared on behalf of the FIRST DEFENDANT
MISS A ROBINSON (instructed by Swindon Borough Council) appeared on behalf of the SECOND DEFENDANT
Crown Copyright ©
"In considering planning applications for housing development in the interim, before development plans can be reviewed, local authorities should have regard to the policy contained in this PPG as material considerations which may supersede the policies in their plan (see paragraph 54 of PPG1). Where the planning application relates to development of a greenfield site allocated for housing in an adopted local plan or UDP, it should be assessed, and a decision made on the application, in the light of the policies set out in this guidance. Comparison with available previously-developed sites against the criteria in paragraph 31 and in the light of the presumption in paragraph 32 and the policies on design, layout and efficient use of land, including car parking, will be particularly relevant. Where a proposed housing development involves the use of a previously-developed site or the conversion of existing buildings, the proposal may need to be amended in accordance with this guidance, for example, in relation to design, layout, density and parking."
"The UCS has identified some additional sites within the urban areas which have been taken forward into the DLP. Consequently, Policy H2 of the latter lists 28 sites which, together with the NDA and SDA, and an allowance for windfalls, are intended to satisfy the residual requirement of an additional 7465 new dwellings (after completions and commitments are taken into account). However, in my opinion, it would be unrealistic to expect all sources to deliver the forecast amount of housing during the Plan period. I therefore agree with the Appellant that it would be reasonable to add a 10% non-implementation to sites with unimplemented planning permission and allocated sites. This would increase the residual requirement from 7465 to 8020 which would be increased further when the allowance is applied to the residual figure itself to allow for non-implementation of newly identified sources. This would represent a significant increase above 8020 dwellings it would be somewhat below the figure of 8823 units as suggested by the appellant, since it appears to me that the latter includes some double counting in respect of sites already allocated in the SBLP [27/28, 50/52].
"104. The UCS has helped to clarify that the Borough has a greater number of potential brownfield housing sites than previously thought [51, 52]. Nevertheless, under-performance of the main housing allocations, especially the SDA, is likely to result in a significant deficit in the provision of land to satisfy housing requirements during the Plan period. This would increase should development of the SDA be delayed further . I therefore consider that a greater number of dwellings from sources other than the NDA, the SDA and land already identified in the UCS and DLP will need to be found. This process should be guided by the advice in PPG3."
"Given the limited brownfield opportunities, and the need to rely on greenfield land to provide for the Borough's housing requirements, I conclude that the guidance in PPG3 is not sufficient to override the plan which allocates the site for housing development. Indeed, the release of the site would be consistent with the sequential approach advocated in national guidance".
"12. The Urban Capacity Study (UCS) carried out by the Council and completed in September 2002 concluded that the Borough has a greater number of potential brownfield sites than previously thought. Some of these sites have been taken forward into the DLP and, together with the NDA and SDA sites, and an allowance for windfalls, are intended to satisfy the residual requirement of an additional 7,465 new dwellings (after completions and commitments are taken into account) [IR 103].
"13. The Secretary of State agrees with the Inspector that under-performance of the main housing allocations, especially the SDA, is likely to result in a significant deficit in the provision of land to satisfy housing requirements during the Plan period [IR 104]. He agrees with the Inspector that a greater number of dwellings from sources other than the NDA and the SDA will need to be found. However, he does not agree with the Inspector that these dwellings would need to come from sources other than land identified in the UCS [IR 104].
"14. The UCS identified a number of sites within defined urban areas which are sequentially preferable to the appeals site and which could potentially be utilised for housing. A proportion of these sites have been taken forward into the DLP, although this is at an early stage in its development. The Secretary of State considers that there is significant capacity available on other sites identified by the UCS which could be utilised to contribute towards making up the likely deficit from the SDA and NDA sites. The Secretary of State is not persuaded therefore that it is necessary for this greenfield site to be released for housing at this time, ahead of sequentially preferable sites identified in the UCS. He considers, therefore, that the release of this site for housing now would be contrary to the search sequence advocated by PPG3."
" ... it is [not] that it is necessary for this greenfield site to be released for housing at this time [my emphasis] ahead of sequentially preferable sites identified in the UCS."