01480 213811

PLANNING APPEAL DECISION SAVES NEARLY £30,000 IN FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS

A Government Inspector has granted planning permission for the erection of a detached four bedroom house in Langford following refusal by the Central Bedfordshire Council in January last year.  In granting the permission the Inspector decided the appellants did not have to pay in excess of  £12,000 towards the Council’s developer contributions policy or £16,000 which was offered towards addressing the affordable housing need.

In 2011 Amber Developments bought garden land and secured planning permission from the Central Bedfordshire Council to build three houses, which are now under construction.  Later the owners of the original house decided to explore the prospect for developing a further property within their retained garden and a planning application was submitted on their behalf by Barford + Co, the St Neots based Chartered Surveyors and Planning Consultants in November 2011. However, officers were not willing to support the application on the grounds that the cumulative development of four houses should secure an affordable property.  To offset the affordable house objection an offer was made to the Council for a financial contribution, however this was rejected by the Central Bedfordshire Council and the planning application was subsequently refused in January last year on the grounds of cumulative development and the failure to provide an affordable housing unit.  An appeal was lodged by Barford + Co and this was the subject of a Planning Hearing held in November last year.

The Inspector’s decision has been issued in recent days and he has concluded the Council was wrong to consider the cumulative development point given the proposal was a windfall development opportunity on what was a new site for planning purposes.  Consequently he considered the Council should have considered the proposal as a single dwelling, which would not have attracted the affordable housing objection. He therefore allowed the appeal.

The Inspector also considered that legal agreements offering contributions of more than £28,000 towards affordable housing improvements and the Council’s adopted developer contributions policy were not necessary as the Council had not justified the need for these contributions.

Martin Page of Barford + Co commented ‘Our clients are pleased with the outcome, but it is frustrating it was necessary to take this matter to an appeal when there was a willingness to try and find some common ground with the Council by contributions intended to offset the impact.  The Council was not prepared to explore this opportunity with the result that the proposal had to be delayed and costs of a planning appeal incurred.  The Council has also lost out on the opportunity to secure financial contributions of more than £28,000’.

For further information on this Press Release please contact Martin Page of Barford + Co Ltd on ((01480) 213811 or email: mpage@barfords.co.uk.

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