Pickles approves three major Worcestershire schemes

Out-Law News | 04 Jul 2014 | 3:08 pm |

Communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles has granted planning permission on appeal for more than 1,100 homes on three sites in Droitwich Spa and Pebworth in Worcestershire after finding that the local planning authority could not demonstrate a five year housing supply.

Developers Persimmon Homes, Barberry Droitwich and Codex Promotions all lodged appeals after Wychavon District Council's refusal of their respective applications. The appeals for Persimmon Homes' and Barberry Droitwich's proposals in Droitwich Spa were heard together at a public inquiry in January whilst the appeal for Codex Promotions' proposals in Pebworth was heard at a separate inquiry in November last year.

Pickles said in his decision letter for the Droitwich schemes (162-page / 1.29MB PDF) that the development sites were outside the boundary of the settlement area of the Council's local policy. However, he said that little weight could be attached to those policies as they were "clearly out of date".

He also said that the inconsistency with the policies was "significantly outweighed" by the inability of the Council to demonstrate a five year housing land supply in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework.

Pickles also referred to the shortfall in housing land supply in his decision letter for the Pebworth scheme (132-page / 833KB PDF). He said that the development would boost the Council's housing supply and that it would deliver a "significant additional supply" of affordable housing to meet local needs.