William Davis has been successful in attaining two outline planning permissions to build 250 houses and a biodiversity park on an area of local separation between the villages of Mountsorrel and Rothley, Leicestershire. Jeremy Cahill QC and Nina Pindham from No5 Chambers led the appeals.
The appeals were heard at a public local inquiry on 10, 11 and 12 December 2013 and were launched against the failure of Charnwood Borough Council to issue notice of its decisions within the prescribed period in relation to two applications for planning permission:
- Appeal A: construction of a maximum of 250 dwellings, a replacement primary school, change of use from dwelling to medical facility, change of use from agricultural land to domestic curtilages, green infrastructure, potential garden extensions, construction of a relief road and demolition of barns in accordance with application ref: P/12/2005/2
- Appeal B: an area of public open space including water balancing ponds and green infrastructure in accordance with application ref: P/12/2456/2
Although the council did not determine the applications in time, it did later consider them at a planning committee meeting. The council would have refused the application because ‘the proposal would lead to the loss of an area of local separation resulting in a significantly narrowed and reduced actual and perceived gap of open undeveloped land between the villages of Rothley and Mountsorrel contrary to the saved policy CT/4 in the adopted Borough of Charnwood Local Plan… and would undermine its continuing planning function’.
Appeal B was wholly acceptable as it did not conflict with the development plan.
The secretary of state, agreeing with the recommendation of his inspector, Harold Stephens, disagreed with the council and granted planning permission for both appeals.
The decisions are of interest for the approach taken to housing development in an area of local separation in the context of a development plan in flux and a lack of a five-year housing land supply, as well as for the inspector’s statements regarding conflicting interpretations of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in the case law.