Following a hard fought 14 day public inquiry into two proposed developments on unallocated greenfield sites at Chinnor, South Oxfordshire District – a 140 dwelling proposal by Persimmon and a 54 dwelling proposal by CALA – the Inspector (Ken Barton) has allowed Persimmon’s appeal and dismissed CALA’s appeal. The appeal decisions contain several important conclusions of wider significance including on the new wording regarding the gateways to the tilted balance in para.11 of the revised NPPF; the correct housing requirement figure in light of the Oxfordshire Growth Deal, the Standard Methodology, and Oxford’s Unmet Need; and the interpretation of permissively worded policies in a Neighbourhood Plan.

In winning their appeal, Persimmon succeeded in their primary argument that despite its size the appeal scheme would be infill and as such within the sole category of residential development that the Chinnor Neighbourhood Plan expressly supports. This meant that Persimmon, unlike CALA (whose development was not infill), did not need to rely on other arguments concerning the approach to be taken to development not expressly supported by the CNP (having regard to relevant principles of interpretation, the new NPPF, the HLS situation and the absence of allocations in the South Oxfordshire Core Strategy).

Charles Banner acted for Persimmon. CALA and SODC were represented by QCs.

The decision letters can be downloaded here and here.

This is Charles’ third consecutive success for Persimmon, following in the footsteps of recent proposals at Berkeley in Stroud District (in close proximity to the Grade 1 listed Berkeley Castle) and Capel St Mary in Babergh District. Charles and Persimmon have two further appeals already lined up for 2019 with hopes for similar success.

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