Fri, 19 Jun 2015
The appeal decision re New Street, Weedon is of wider interest for three reasons. Firstly, it is a decision in which the planning authority was found to be a 5% authority rather than a 10% authority on the basis of a Core Strategy which included no more than past delivery rates in the early years of its housing trajectory. In other words, the Core Strategy’s approach to use of bare delivery rates prevailed over any assessment of need.
Secondly, and notwithstanding the finding of 5.2 years of housing land supply, the appeal was allowed on the basis that relevant policies were in any event out of date: “The Council acknowledged, as it must, that saved LP policies HS22 and HS24 are both policies for the supply of housing. However, given that the Council can demonstrate a 5 year HLS, albeit only just, these policies are not excluded by NPPF 47. Nevertheless, given the age of the policies and their lack of consistency with the thrust of NPPF 47 towards boosting significantly the supply of housing, I give the conflict with these policies, and GN1(E) and (F), reduced weight.”
Thirdly, the decision takes an approach which is consistent with the law in respect of the right to connect to a public sewer and therefore decides that a Grampian condition to prevent development until sewage infrastructure is brought up to date would be unreasonable: “Anglian Water sought a condition requiring on- and off-site mains foul sewage infrastructure works prior to occupation. This would prevent any new connection overloading the sewer. However, the appellant has argued that this would be unreasonable, citing case law that: a sewerage undertaker has no right to refuse a developer the right to connect with a public sewer …. I acknowledge that if only 21 days’ notice was given (being all that is required under the Water Industries Act 1991) then there would be the potential for a serious problem. However, as Anglian Water replied to statutory consultation in July 2014, and as it is likely to be at least 2 more years before any houses would be occupied, it would have adequate time to take the necessary measures. The proposed condition would therefore be unreasonable.”
Richard Kimblin was instructed on behalf of the Appellant.