Over the last few months, planning consultants like Northern Planners have been watching appeal decisions to see the way in which Planning Inspectors have been treating proposals for new houses in the open countryside following two legal judgements that considered the term ‘isolated’ in national policy.
These cases are Dartford Borough Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (14 March 2017) and Braintree District Council and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greyread Limited and Granville Developments Limited (24 October 2017).
They have led a number of agents to argue that some rural sites are not physically remote from existing development and therefore worthy of consideration for new housing, regardless of their sustainability in terms of services/facilities and their compliance with exceptional categories of acceptability within policy.
Some cases have had success on appeal, others less so.
Now, it has been announced that the Braintree judgement is to be reviewed in the Court of Appeal. The appeal hearing is likely to be towards the end of 2018.
Until then, the door is open for applicants to promote the locational advantages of sites/schemes that aren’t ideally situated to receive a normal ‘thumbs up’ from Councils.