Residential scheme dismissed on appeal on grounds including unresolved highways matters

The Secretary of State has dismissed an appeal seeking outline planning permission for up to 240 dwellings in the open countryside adjacent to Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire. His Inspector noted that whilst the local planning authority did not assert that the proposal would cause an unacceptable impact on highway safety, or that the residual cumulative impacts on the road network would be severe, there were an “unusually high” number of unresolved matters in relation to the potential highways impact of the appeal scheme. Having regard to the recent High Court judgment in Satnam Millenium Ltd v SSHCLG [2019] EWHC 2631 (Admin), the Inspector was not satisfied that there would not be an unacceptable effect upon highway safety or a severe residual cumulative impact on the road network. Whilst the Inspector found that the local planning authority could demonstrate a five year housing land supply, she concluded that the ‘tilted balance’ in para. 11 of the NPPF nevertheless applied because the most important policies for determining the appeal were, taken as a whole, out-of-date. However, the Inspector’s conclusion was that the highways harm (to which she attached extremely substantial weight) together with the other harms that she had identified would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the appeal scheme. The appeal decision can be found here. Heather Sargent and Alex Shattock appeared for the local planning authority, Mansfield District Council.

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