Cotswold District Council’s claims of having met its five-year housing supply target were thrown into doubt at a planning inquiry into 250 homes at Highfield Farm, Tetbury
DOUBT has been thrown on Cotswold District Council ’s claims of having met its five-year housing supply target at a planning inquiry which could see up to 250 homes built in Tetbury.
Closing statements were heard in the public planning inquiry into CDC’s refusal of planning permission for up to 250 homes at Highfield Farm on Monday.
Saira Kabir Sheikh, acting as representation for CDC, said the council had met its five-year housing supply target, and therefore there was no need for such a large development.
However, she conceded that the council’s calculations were “not an exact science”.
“It is a snapshot in time,” she said.
Mary Cook, representing claimants Fay & Son, argued the methods used by CDC to determine the five-year need had been met were out of date.
“We invite you to conclude there is no robust five year supply of housing in Cotswold (sic) and that an even more significant boost to housing is urgently required which these appeal proposals can go some way to meeting,” she said.
The inquiry was due to be held in May, but was postponed after the representation acting on behalf of CDC said they had not received all the necessary information in time to put together a full case.
Miss Sheikh argued it would preferable to grant permission to an application for 174 homes at the nearby SIAC site, which was given the go-ahead on Wednesday.
“It is plainly more appropriate to prefer this brownfield land which will provide 174 dwellings and other care home facilities to use of high grade farm land which is entirely undeveloped,” she said.
She also argued the proposal was in conflict with the government’s new National Planning Policy Framework, which states that planning permission should be refused within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty “except in exceptional circumstances and where it can be demonstrated they are in the public interest”.
“The appellants admit that this proposal constitutes a major development and that it effectively would form an extension to Tetbury,” she said.
Closing her arguments, Miss Cook said the development had some potential benefits to the town.
“Additional revenue, job creation and in particular more secondary school children ought in particular to be welcomed,” she said.
Closing the appeal, government inspector Jessica Graham said she would prepare a report for secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles, and he would make a final decision on whether or not the appeal would be allowed.