Council successfully defends appeal against refusal of Oundle housing plans

The East Northants Council offices in Thrapston
The East Northants Council offices in Thrapston

East Northamptonshire Council has successfully defended an appeal against the council’s refusal of a housing development in Oundle.

The development proposed was for up to 95 dwellings on land between St Christopher’s Drive and the A605 Oundle Bypass.

It was refused by East Northamptonshire Council in October 2013 on the grounds that it went against the Rural North, Oundle and Thrapston Plan (RNOTP).

Persimmon Homes appealed this decision in November 2013, as it argued that the council could not demonstrate five years deliverable supply of housing land, which is a requirement of national planning policy.

An absence of this would normally lead to the granting of planning permission on appeal, regardless of whether or not a proposed scheme fits the Local Plan.

At the public inquiry held in June 2014, a number of issues were discussed, evidence heard and plans scrutinised.

The inspector eventually concluded that East Northamptonshire Council currently has housing land supply for 3,865 dwellings which equates to nine years worth.

Given that the council is easily able to demonstrate a robust five years housing land supply, the inspector concluded that the scheme’s obvious conflict with the adopted Local Plan (RNOTP policies 1 and 2) was strong enough grounds to dismiss Persimmon Homes’ appeal.

Steven North, leader of East Northamptonshire Council, said: “We’re pleased with the decision and are confident that this should reduce future risks of further speculative applications for development schemes on unallocated ‘greenfield’ sites throughout the district.”