Paul Cairnes from No5 Chambers is successful in Devon development scheme

Paul Cairnes from No5 Chambers has represented the only successful appellant in a public local inquiry into three conjoined appeals (comprising four potential schemes) against the refusal of planning permission for residential development schemes in Feniton, Devon.

Dubbed by the BBC as a ‘super inquiry’, all of the appeal schemes were highly contentious locally and raised nationally significant issues relating to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and sustainability.

Cairnes promoted a scheme for Feniton Park, while the other appeal schemes were promoted by Strategic Land Partnership and Wainhomes. The issues revolved around the housing land supply for East Devon District Council, the sustainability credentials of the schemes, localism, heritage impact and visual impact.

Inspector Jessica Graham concluded that the Feniton Park scheme ‘ought to be permitted because, far from the adverse impacts significantly and demonstrably outweighing the benefits, the benefits would clearly outweigh the harm’.

She reached a contrary conclusion in respect of the other schemes. Of particular significance is the approach that the inspector took to the William Davies case and the presumption in favour of sustainable development.