18/00904/OUT, outline application for the erection of 16 dwellings and access, highways, open space and drainage infrastructure (access to be considered), Land off Church Causeway, Church Langton, Leicestershire.
The application went to to Harborough District Council planning committee 25/9/18 and was allowed. See Link to HDC decision list for this meeting here. The decision letter from HDC is awaited
The Parish Council response agreed at meeting 17/7/18:
East Langton Parish Council objects to this application of the following grounds:-
We are very concerned about the housing mix. The Application Form is for 16 dwellings, comprising 10 market dwellings – 1x3 bed; 9x4 bed and 6 affordable housing. The affordable housing (4x2 bed; 2x3 bed) appears to meet HDC requirements. However, the size of is - 4x2 bed (25%), 3x3 bed (19%) and 9x4 bed (56%).
HDC's requirement is - 1 - 2 bed (65-75%), 3 bed (25%) and 4 bed (5-10%), therefore 1 – 3 bed dwellings should account for 90 – 100% - they only account for 44%.
4 bed dwellings should account for 5 – 10% - the development provides for 56%.
The housing mix is therefore outside that required by HDC.
The HDC Housing Enabling and Community Infrastructure Officer is also of the opinion the "Planning Statement (which) does not appear to commit to Policy CS3 – on Affordable housing."
Our recently adopted Neighbourhood Plan Policy H3 on housing mix says 'All proposals for new housing will be expected to demonstrate how the proposal will meet the current and future housing needs of the Parish. Applications for small family homes (2 or 3 bedrooms) or accommodation suitable for older people will be particularly supported ………….'. Consultation for the 'Plan' showed strong support for smaller houses, especially as the Parish is over its quota for 4+ bed houses. The Neighbourhood Plan also prioritises affordable housing for local people. The application does not refer to this.
It has also been noted that the Design & Access Statement differs from the Application Form as the housing ration (P.18) is given as 4x2 bed, 4x3 bed and 8x4+ bed. The error is not for an additional smaller house but to increase the number of 4+ bed houses and begs the question 'Are the developers trying to 'sneak in' the additional large build?
The Planning Statement (5.7.3) refers to "the dimensions to sustainable development that relate to the planning system's role" as laid out in Paragraph 7 of the National Planning Policy Framework ("NPPF"). We contend that the "social role – supporting strong, vibrant and healthy communities, by providing the supply of housing required to meet the needs of present and future generations" is not being met in this application, particularly in notproviding accommodation suitable for older people.
Out of Date Policies
The Planning Statement (2.2) states that the HDC Core Strategy is out of date as the Council cannot demonstrate a 5-year land supply.
However – HDC has been close to the 5-year mark for some time and may achieve the required level at any time.
The Planning Statement states that the Neighbourhood Plan is also out of date because it doesn't allocate any houses for development (doing so would only require it to demonstrate a 3-year supply).
However – the Secretary of State's determination in March this year that it was not necessary for a Neighbourhood plan to actually allocate sites for housing as long as it supported development 'when read as a whole'. The East Langton Neighbourhood plan clearly states that development at the level required by HDC is supported and has a policy on windfall development.
The site is situated outside the Limits to Development which the Planning Statement also states is out of date (5.5.2, 5.6.1). However, given our response to the 'five year supply of housing' argument above, and that the HDC Local Plan has not been adopted yet, then Policy CS2 and HS8 are still applicable until the new Local Plan is formally adopted. NPPF states in paragraph 215that due weight should be given to relevant policies in existing plans according to their degree of consistency with the NPPF.
We also have a number of further concerns:-
We concur with the request from LCC Highways department that speed test be taken along Church Causeway in order to substantiate the Planning Statement's (6.31) claim that "that the Proposed Development would accord with the aims of the NPPF; safe and suitable access can be achieved by all modes of travel. (Core Strategy CS11), NPPF (paragraph 32) in relation to safe access and impacts on the highway network."
We would also like to add our concern about the increased volume of vehicles on Church Causeway generated by this development.
The Planning Statement (5.7.4) says "The core planning principles of the NPPF are set out at paragraph 17 and include that planning should "be genuinely plan-ledempowering local people to shape their surroundings."
The Design & Access Statement (P10) identifies "The provision of bungalows; the eventual scale of development and risk of future applications; the need to secure the maximum benefits from the scheme" as concerns raised at by local people at their consultation. None of these concerns have been addressed in this application, breaching the NPPF core planning principle.
In addition, the Parish Council were informed by the landowner that an additional circular footpath would be created around the edge of the field proposed for the development and that consideration would be given for the creation of a play area. This is supported byPolicy CS17: Countryside, Rural Centres and Rural Villages - Improving the green infrastructure network including increased opportunities for public access to the countryside and open space assets and HDC Neighbourhood and Green Spaces officer. Neither of these offers has been referenced within the application.
Had these concerns been addressed it would have provided more grounds for the Parish Council to approve this application.
Cllr Roz Folwell and Cllr Gary Kirk are happy to discuss any questions about the Application. Cllr Folwell can be contacted on 545160 and Cllr Kirk on 07808060654
Link to application on Harborough District Council's Website - 18/00904/OUT