Developer wins legal battle to build in open countryside
A developer has won the right to build in open countryside despite opposition from the local planning authority.
The case involved developer George Barlow and Cheshire East Council.
Barlow had applied for planning permission to build 10 houses on open land. The authority failed to make a decision within the prescribed period, so Barlow appealed.
At the appeal, the authority said that it would have refused planning permission because the project conflicted with its development plan. It would be beyond existing settlement boundaries where development should be restricted, and there was a need to protect the open countryside.
The inspector allowed the appeal and granted planning permission on the basis that any harm caused would be outweighed by the development's benefits, particularly in terms of the provision of affordable housing.
The High Court has upheld that decision.
It held that the inspector had understood and considered the policies in the development plan. He had referred to the neighbourhood plan and local plans and given them careful consideration.
Therefore, it was clear that he had regard to the relevant policies and had applied them to the proposal when considering the character and appearance of the countryside.
Please contact Holly Baker if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any matter relating to the legal aspects of planning and appeals.