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Holywell Spring Farm, Ashby de la Zouch, North West Leicestershire

DATE: 19 Feb 2013

This case concerns an appeal by CLB (Ashby) Ltd against the refusal by North West Leicestershire District Council of their application for planning permission for a 400 dwelling urban extension to Ashby de la Zouch.

The Council’s draft Core Strategy, due for submission to the Secretary of State in summer 2013, proposes that Ashby’s housing needs should be met by means of a 605 urban extension on another site, controlled by the Money Hill Consortium (comprised of Bloor Homes, Cogent Land LLP and Taylor Wimpey).

The Council refused planning permission on the basis that the development was contrary to the saved policy of its Local Plan resisting development in the countryside and is in any event premature and prejudicial to the emerging Core Strategy which proposes that future growth in Ashby should be at the Money Hill site. The appellant’s case is that the development’s ability to meet an alleged shortfall in the Council’s five year housing supply outweighs those considerations. The Money Hill Consortium supports the Council’s case on breach of the Local Plan and prematurity/prejudice to the Core Stategy.

A four day inquiry was listed to commence 19 February 2013. On the second day of the inquiry, the Inspector accepted the submissions advanced on behalf of the Money Hill Consortium that, in the light of the suggestion for the first time in the appellant’s rebuttal proof of evidence that the two urban extensions were not in fact mutually exclusive but could come forward side-by-side, the screening opinion excluding the need for Environmental Impact Assessment of the development was deficient since it failed to have regard to potential cumulative effects of the two developments in combination. The Inspector therefore adjourned the inquiry in order for a fresh screening opinion to be undertaken and, if necessary, the development to be subject to EIA. Following the adjournment of the inquiry the appellant withdrew the appeal.

In the meantime, the Money Hill Consortium have applied for planning permission for their proposed urban extension in accordance with the emerging Core Strategy.

Charles Banner is acting for the Money Hill Consortium, instructed by Iceni Projects.