Out-Law News

Pickles grants permission to 300-home East Staffordshire scheme

Secretary of State (SoS) Eric Pickles has granted outline planning permission on appeal for a major residential development on a 17.6 hectare site in Burton upon Trent after finding that the local authority could not demonstrate a five year housing land supply. 

Marston's PLC lodged an appeal last year after East Staffordshire Borough Council failed to determine its 300-home application within the prescribed period.

Pickles issued a decision letter (48-page / 249KB PDF) this week in which he said he agreed with a planning inspector's findings that the Council did not have a five year housing land supply in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework and that the presumption in favour of sustainable development therefore applied.

In relation to concerns raised by the Council about the harm the scheme would cause to the landscape character and visual amenities, the SoS said he agreed with the inspector that any major adverse effects would be confined to the short term. The scheme would be "well designed to respond to the characteristics of the site and the surrounding landscape", and would be compliant with guidance and local planning policy, he said.

Pickles concluded that the development site is in a sustainable location for housing development and that granting planning permission would not "significantly and demonstrably" outweigh the benefits of the scheme. He said he therefore did "not consider that there are any material considerations of sufficient weight to justify refusing planning permission". 

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