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Adequacy of Housing Land Supply Holds Sway in Planning Dispute

The need for more new homes is acute but whether developers get the green light to build can often depend on whether local authorities have made adequate plans for future supplies of housing land. The point was well illustrated by a High Court case in which planning consent was refused for 320 homes on a Greenfield site.

Permission for the development was refused by the local authority and that decision was upheld by a planning inspector following a public inquiry. He found that the proposals were not in accordance with the local development plan and, crucially, that the council had established a five-year supply of housing land in its area.

In dismissing the would-be developer’s challenge to that decision, the High Court rejected arguments that the inspector had misapplied or misconstrued planning policies. He had justifiably concluded that, given the adequacy of housing land supply in the locale, the presumption was against a grant of planning consent.