Out-Law / Your Daily Need-To-Know

Pickles approves two Warwickshire housing schemes

Out-Law News | 11 Mar 2014 | 3:05 pm | 1 min. read

Secretary of state (SoS) Eric Pickles has granted planning permission on appeal for two proposals comprising a total of up to 350 homes in Alcester, Warwickshire (84-page / 578KB PDF) after finding that the local authority's housing policies were out of date.

Developers J S Bloor and Gallagher Estates had lodged separate appeals after Stratford-on-Avon District Council last year refused to grant permission to their proposals of up to 160 and 190 homes.

The Council's reasons for refusal included that the schemes would have an adverse impact on access to services, facilities, shops and employment in Alcester and that they would be detrimental to the character and setting of the rural centre of Alcester.

Pickles said in his decision letter that he agreed with a planning inspector's findings that the Council could not demonstrate a five year housing land supply and that the National Planning Policy Framework's presumption in favour of sustainable development therefore applied.

Pickles said he agreed with the inspector that the impact of the schemes on the services, facilities, shops and employment in the town would be acceptable. He noted that the Council's draft Core Strategy included "general acceptance" of 300 homes at the sites and said it would be "most unlikely" that the potential for up to 50 more homes would make a difference to the impact on Alcester.

The SoS also agreed with the inspector that there was "little merit" in the Council's claim that the proposals would be detrimental to the character and setting to the rural centre of Alcester.

Pickles concluded that the sites were "well-located" for development on the edge of the main rural centre and that the schemes would be sustainable, with no adverse impacts to "significantly and demonstrably" outweigh the benefits of the schemes.