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RESIDE Modelling Supports Application and Appeal Proposals

Category: News 11 July 2013

Outline permission has been granted on appeal for the provision of 36 new homes (including 53% affordable housing) on Land South of Maynard Terrace, Clutton, Somerset.

Pioneer are pleased to have assisted the application and appeal team with the preparation of our bespoke ‘RESIDE’ housing requirements analysis (which has informed application and appeal stage submissions), and through providing a review of the Bath and North East Somerset draft Local Plan evidence base (including regarding the Council’s approach to assessing housing targets within the wider BANES and rural areas).

The Inspector noted in her report that the lack of a five year housing land supply was common ground between all parties, and confirmed that the Council’s housing supply policies are therefore out of date, and that the ‘acknowledged’ need for additional market and affordable housing ‘carries considerable weight in favour of the development’.

Concerns were raised regarding the ability of the school to cope with the additional development, but the Inspector concluded there to be ‘no substantive evidence’ which would ‘indicate that capacity would be reached or exceeded as a result of the current proposal’.’ In this regard it is pertinent to note that the bespoke RESIDE analysis, undertaken to support the application, includes an assessment of the number of homes suggested to be necessary to maintain a school age population, and demonstrates that the 36 dwellings proposed would be of significant benefit in assisting with maintaining this.

Objections were also made to the proposals on the basis that the level of need for affordable housing in the village had not been clearly quantified. However, the Inspector noted ‘clear evidence’ showing ‘that many young people with local ties’ could not afford to live in the village but had expressed a desire to do so, and observed that this was coupled with ‘evidence of a significant shortfall of affordable housing provision across the District as a whole’.

The Housing Statement prepared by Pioneer in support of the application process provided an overview of the various consultation processes undertaken in respect of the application site, and reviewed the outcome of local housing surveys and the Council’s own District wide housing needs assessment, demonstrating a requirement and support for additional affordable housing in the village for local people.

In response to the contention posed by a third party, that the provision of 36 additional homes would make little difference to reduce the housing shortfall, the Inspector stated that ‘in the context of a significant existing housing shortage, the provision of any new housing must, in principle, be beneficial in terms of redressing the shortfall.’

The Inspector attached limited weight to the Council’s emerging Plan policy to provide 50 homes in Clutton over the Plan period, noting that there were ‘strong indications that it will face considerable objection’. On this basis the Inspector placed only limited weight on the Council’s stance that it had already gone some way to meeting the housing requirement in Clutton through the consent of 28 dwellings through recent permissions granted, and stated that it was not their place to review the merits of alternative sites.

In reaching her analysis the Inspector will, doubtless, have been aware of the bespoke RESIDE analysis submitted in the Housing Statement in support of the application and which demonstrates that the Council’s 50 dwelling target would be likely to prove insufficient for Clutton and its environs. The Housing Statement set out that, even taking all planned consents and past supply into account, a more significant overall level of housing was suggested to be necessary to align provision with the NPPF objectives of boosting economic growth and maintaining local services and amenities in rural areas.

In summing up the Inspector concluded that, whilst there was some adverse impact as a result of an increase of the number of households likely to travel by private car, this ‘would not come anywhere close to “significantly and demonstrably” outweighing the benefit’ which would flow from allowing the proposals in terms of the provision of additional housing to address the ‘current significant shortfall’.

The appeal outcome demonstrates that a simultaneous review of emerging policy and evidence base, local housing requirements, and past and planned housing supply, combined with focussed consultation events can prove an extremely effective support mechanism leading to the acceptance of rural greenfield housing development proposals.

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