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159 unit residential development allowed in Topsham, Exeter - student accommodation held not to count towards 5 year housing land supply

DATE: 28 Apr 2016

The Planning Inspectorate (Jonathan Bore MRTPI) has today published its decision allowing an appeal by Waddeton Park Ltd against Exeter City Council’s refusal to grant planning permission for a 60 bed residential care home, 44 assisted living apartments and 55 age restricted dwellings on the edge of Topsham. The appeal site is located within the strategic gap between Exeter and Topsham, which is protected by Policy LS1 of the Exeter Local Plan and Policy CP16 of the Exeter Core Strategy. 

The Inspector held that Exeter City Council could not count student accommodation in its 5 year housing land supply (“5YHLS”), and therefore there was a serious shortfall in the 5YHLS. The housing delivery and other benefits of the development were held to outweigh the impacts of the development, including its conflict with development plan policy. 

The decision has particular significance for those advancing or responding to housing land supply arguments in the context of urban areas with a substantial student population. A copy of the decision can be accessed here

The Inspector also made a partial award of costs in favour of the appellant. 

Charles Banner appeared for the appellant, Waddeton Park Ltd (instructed by Stephens Scown LLP).

Stephen Whale appeared for Exeter City Council (instructed by the Council’s Legal Department).