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Planning appeal in Durham dismissed: absence of a five year supply of housing land outweighed by significant harm to undesignated landscape

DATE: 25 Jul 2016

An Inspector has dismissed an appeal (appeal number - APP/X1355/W/15/3135895) in respect of a proposal for residential development of 149 houses with associated access and landscaping at Lanchester, County Durham.

The Inspector concluded that Durham County Council was unable to demonstrate a five year supply of housing land, accordingly the relevant policies in the Local Plan were to be considered as out of date for the purposes of paragraph 49 of the NPPF. However she also held that the proposed development would result in significant harm to the character of the landscape and some harm to visual amenity. The Inspector noted that the site was not subject to any statutory or locally designated landscape or ecological constraints, or of heritage value but nevertheless accepted that the site was of value to the local community.

In striking the overall planning balance the Inspector concluded:

“157. The lack of a five year supply of housing land does not automatically lead to the grant of planning permission. In this case the adverse impact of granting permission that I have identified would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits when assessed against the policies of the Framework when taken as a whole. Overall the proposal would not represent sustainable development.

158. Whilst the policies breached are out of date the proposal would nevertheless be contrary to the development plan and this conflict would not be outweighed by other material considerations including the provisions of the Framework and paragraph 14 in particular”

Please click here for the appeal decision letter. 

John Hobson QC represented Durham County Council.