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Inspector Grants Permission for Housing within AONB and Conservation Area

DATE: 06 Sep 2018

An Inspector has allowed an appeal and granted planning permission for 34 residential units on land within an AONB and the Great Missenden Conservation Area. In doing so, he concluded that Chiltern Council had a housing land supply of just 2.48 years. He dismissed an argument that housing to be provided in the neighbouring  local authority area, Aylesbury Vale, to accommodate Chiltern's housing needs, should be taken into account since there was no evidence that it would be deliverable within 5 years.

Applying paragraph 213 of the NPPF, he also concluded that Chiltern's development plan policies relating to the protection of AONB's, Heritage Assets and its Parking Standards and Policies were to be given only limited weight since they are inconsistent with the Framework. He found that the proposed development would not give rise to harm to the significance of heritage assets including the Great Missenden conservation area and proximate listed buildings. He also decided that the access provided was acceptable given the fall back position established by the Appellant.

The decision is also of interest in relation to the Inspector's conclusion that an affordable housing review clause was not necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms. He found that the development plan did not require such a review, and that other guidance did not require one either. In particular, he gave weight to the view set out in the relevant RICS Guidance which states that re-appraisals of viability are generally suited to phased schemes over the longer term rather than a single-phase scheme to be implemented immediately, which requires certainty. 

The Inspector also granted a partial award for costs in favour of the Appellant. A copy of the decision letter can be found here. 

Reuben Taylor QC appeared for the Appellant