Outline permission for the two dwellings, which will be built on the site of an existing dwelling, due to be demolished, was refused by Tendring District Council.

On behalf of the applicant, Planning Direct appealed the decision to the Secretary of State, and a Government Inspector agreed that the council had been wrong to refuse permission.

The Council had argued that the site was too far from the village of Ardleigh to be sustainable, but the Inspector found that, though likely reliant on the private car to access services, future occupiers would only have to take relatively short journeys and regular bus services also provided sustainable options.

In finding that the site was not considered to be in open countryside, or out of character with the rest of the village, the Inspector concluded that there was no identified harm from the proposal. Given there is a presumption in favour of sustainable development, the Inspector concluded that this material consideration outweighed the limited conflict with the development plan.

Although acknowledging that the proposals would only provide a very small addition to the delivery of housing in the District, which was an aim of Government policy, the Inspector was not drawn on whether the council could demonstrate a five year housing land supply.

Ben Redsell, Principal Planning Consultant at Planning Direct, argued the case for the developer. He said:

“This was a case where the local council had followed a tick box exercise rather than looking to see whether there was any actual harm from the proposals. I’m very pleased for our client that the Inspector demonstrated that common sense should prevail in cases like this.”

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