A decision by Thanet council to refuse planning permission for 24 houses to be built on land off Briary Close in Garlinge has been overturned by the Planning Inspectorate.
In October 2016 Hume Planning Consultancy submitted an application for 17 market and 7 social rented properties for the 1.10 hectare site which lays between Garlinge and Westgate.
But in June this year TDC refused the application on the grounds that no detailed masterplan was submitted and no legal agreement was made to provide 30% affordable housing.
The planning officer also raised concerns that it would undermine the site allocation for 1,000 homes in the draft local plan. The homes are earmarked for land to the east and west of Minster Road, Westgate.
Hume Planning appealed the decision on behalf of its client Strategic Land Planning Solutions, raising the issue that Thanet council does not have an active five-year housing plan because the Local Plan – a blueprint for housing, business and infrastructure across the isle- ran out in 2011 and a new plan is still only in the draft stages.
The appeal also raised the issue that uncertainty over the future of the Manston airport site may further hamper progress of the Local Plan.
The lack of an active Local Plan with housing supply proposals leaves TDC open to landowner appeals when planning applications are refused.
Local authorities are obliged to have a five-year housing land supply as part of the National Planning Policy Framework published in March 2012 by the Department for Communities and Local Government.
The Government says the aim of the framework is to make the planning system less complex and more accessible.
If a local authority does not have a clearly stated five-year housing land supply, planning policies for new homes will be considered out of date.
This means a planning inspector can override a local decision on appeal using this one provision.
Last month Thanet council was served notice that central government may start the process of ‘taking over’ the isle’s housing and business plan.
A statement issued by Secretary of State Sajid Javid, from the Department for Communities and Local Government, said the failure of Thanet and 14 other authorities to meet deadlines to put a local plan in place means the government served notice of its intention to intervene.
In granting the appeal, giving outline permission with conditions for the development, the Inspector said: “The council has not persuaded me that this relatively small housing development would undermine the potential to secure a satisfactory masterplan for a comprehensive, mixed use development of the major part of the SHSA (Strategic Housing Site Allocations) that would remain.
“It is necessary to assess this proposal on its individual merits and I am not persuaded that it would result in a harmful precedent leading to further fragmentation of the strategic allocation.”
The planned properties off Briary Close are described as 10 x 2 bed houses, 10 x 3 bed houses and 4 x 4 bed houses. Vehicle access to the site is proposed from Briary Close at the north-east corner of the site and is designed as a ‘continuation’ of the Briary Close carriageway.
Seems like the Planning Committee are in a hapless situation. I note that no reason was stated as to WHY the Planning Committee did not pass this application. WHY?
It is very easy to criticise, but ‘0’ reasons given why Inspectorate later passed this plan.
The Draft Local Plan, demands 17000 new homes be built around Thanet, seemingly without regard to neighbours, infrastructure, Police, Schools, Doctors, Hospitals, Southern Water.
What an incredible & ridiculous demand from our Conservative Government & Sajid Javid.
The whole point about a Local Plan is that there WILL be regard to the infrastructure.
What’s scarey is that without one, piecemeal development can take place here there and anywhere. We urgently need a Local Plan, so we can control who builds what.
It isn’t unreasonable to expect the council and government to fund infrastructure for some of the homes. People who buy homes pay stamp-duty (a tax) to the government and they pay council tax every year. If 10,000 more homes are built the council’s income increases by around £15 million.
The housing development planned for Manston would deliver 4000 homes with all of the necessary infrastructure. If Thanet is to deliver the numbers of houses which are needed large developments of this sort are essential to give the council leverage to get the contractor to work in partnership with them to build the infrastructure. You can hardly ask a builder who wants to put up two or three houses to build a new road and put in new sewer, but you can get them to do this when much larger numbers are involved.
The planning inspectorate overruled the council on this development because the council doesn’t have a valid local plan and cannot demonstrate that it has a five year supply of housing. The council is now incredibly vulnerable to planning appeals and will continue to lose cases until it agrees a new local plan. Unbelievably, half og the UKIP councillors who have been elected, and all of the Conservative councillors are conspiring to reject the draft local plan which has been prepared. If they reject it they will be responsible for many more lost housing appeals.