Out-Law / Your Daily Need-To-Know

PINS receives first 'special measures' application

Out-Law News | 12 May 2014 | 1:33 pm | 1 min. read

Developer Gladman has submitted an outline planning application for a 220-home development in Blaby, Leicestershire, to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) after the local planning authority was found to be under-performing.

Blaby District Council was designated by the UK government as underperforming in November last year under a policy which allows developers to submit major planning applications to PINS instead of the local authority. 

The 'special measures' designation policy was introduced by the Growth and Infrastructure Act in May last year. Under the policy, local planning authorities which determine 30% or fewer of the major planning applications that come before them within the statutory period or have more than 20% of their decisions overturned at appeal can be designated as underperforming.  

Over the two year assessment period, Blaby Council was found to have decided only 15.2% of its major applications within the prescribed 13 week period. It was the only local authority to be placed in special measures during the first round of designations. 

Gladman's proposals for the 17.4 hectare site include the construction of up to 220 new homes as well as land for a school drop off and pick up zone. 

The developer said in the planning statement submitted with the application that the scheme would promote "a high quality family housing development to provide an appropriately balanced residential development that will meet an identified local need". 

Blaby Council development services manager James Carpenter said that, since the designation, the Council has received more than 40 other applications from major developers which have all chosen not to submit their applications to PINS. 

"This is a very unusual set of circumstances as this is the first developer to bypass us and take the application directly to the Inspectorate," said Carpenter according to local reports

"Gladman clearly take the view they have a better chance of securing planning permission on this site through a remote planning inspector than through a local democratic process, particularly where officers and councillors have indicated it would be rejected," he said. 

PINS stated the expected decision date for the application is 24 July.