Land South of Steeds Farm

Overview

Successful appeal for 125 new homes

Challenges

Committee refusal based on section 106 commitments

Working through viability issues and negotiation on section 106 contributions to secure outline permission for 125 new homes.

We are delighted to have secured outline planning permission for 125 extra homes on the edge of Faringdon, Vale of White Horse District by appeal last week on behalf of our long-standing clients, Welbeck Strategic Land.

The Appeal decision has generated comment in the Planning press, primarily due to the viability issue. However, there are other areas of note for our clients to consider for their own development interests.

The Appeal site formed part of an allocation in the Local Plan for “around 200’” dwellings. 200 dwellings had already been provided on the northern half of the allocation. From the very outset, we secured the support of the Case Officer that the use of the term “around” did not preclude additional dwellings coming forward.

This principle was very important in the determination of the application. It highlights that there may be opportunities within allocations to increase levels of development, depending on the terminology used on the number of dwellings.

Prior to the Appeal process, the application was subject to 18 months of detailed, careful negotiation with the Case Officer and her advisers on viability matters. With an agreement secured on viability, the Application was presented to Planning Committee with a recommendation that planning permission should be granted.

Despite the Case Officer’s best efforts the Planning Committee disagreed with her recommendation and refused the application for, in their mind, failure to deliver a sufficient section 106 package of contributions.

The appeal decision is interesting in that the Inspector decided that not all of the Councils’ leisure contributions should be upheld, despite them being agreed at the time of the Planning Committee.

This shows the value of negotiation and evidencing the value of contributions and we are pleased that the Inspector could see the reasonableness of the situation.

We are very happy to secure the Appeal and be part of a great team led by Dankolinsky QC, working alongside Will Seamer of Montagu Evans, John Baird of Osborne Clarke and Anthony Hooper of Wakemans.

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