We received this the other day, and it’s worth us putting it here. One of the questions we were asked in early community engagement was about the value of a neighbourhood plan. The importance of the NP in this case is clear, and we believe it is as important for Charfield that our plan moves forward.
The communities secretary has refused an application for 200 homes on a site at Lydney in Gloucestershire, against an inspector’s recommendation of approval, after he concluded that, amongst other factors weighing against the proposal, the development would be in conflict with a neighbourhood plan.
Forest of Dean District Council had refused outline planning permission for the scheme which would have delivered up to 200 homes, including up to 20 serviced self-build plots, and up to 37 retirement apartments and a community building.
Following an appeal and an inspector’s subsequent recommendation of approval, the application was recovered by Greg Clark because the appeal involved a potential conflict with a neighbourhood plan.
A decision letter issued this week said that Clark considered that the council’s lack of a five-year housing land supply “and the contributions that the appeal proposal would make to increasing the supply of market and affordable housing weigh substantively in favour of the appeal”.
“Also weighing in favour of the appeal are the social, economic and environmental benefits identified by the Inspector”, the letter said.
But the letter went on to say that “weighing against the appeal … is the conflict with the emerging [site allocations document] and emerging Lydney Neighbourhood Development Plan (LNDP), to which he gives moderate weight; and the adverse impact on landscape and character to which he also gives moderate weight. He also gives limited weight to traffic impacts and the adverse effect upon air quality…”
Overall, the letter said that Clark considered “that the adverse impacts of the appeal proposal would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits when assessed against the policies in the National Planning Policy Framework taken as a whole”.
It continued: “He therefore concludes that that there are no material considerations that indicate that the proposal should be determined other than in accordance with the development plan.”