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Developer who challenged Solihull local plan wins appeal

by on October 15, 2015

A developer who successfully mounted a legal challenge over a west Midlands local plan which deleted sites which had been safeguarded for housing in a previous unitary plan and which also changed green belt boundaries has finally succeeded in an appeal over a 190-home residential development originally refused by Solihull Metropolitan District Council.

The outline application for new homes and sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) was proposed for land at Tidbury Green Farm in the village of the same name.

Developer Lioncourt Homes, together with Gallagher Homes, had gone to court and successfully challenged elements of the approved Solihull Local Plan 2013.

The subsequent ruling quashed some of the green belt changes and parts of the local plan in respect of the housing land provision target, its justification, the housing trajectory and whether or not the council met the five year housing land requirement of the then newly minted National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

The scheme was re-determined as a recovered appeal. Following the court case the planning authority accepted that the majority of the site was no longer in the green belt and it did not have an adopted housing target for the plan period against which to assess its five year supply of housing land.

The inspector recommended the scheme should be allowed. The Secretary of State agreed, his decision letter stressed that the SUDS operation was an appropriate activity for a green belt location and noted that no built development was proposed for the three hectares of the site designated as green belt. The fact that the scheme would provide 40 per cent affordable housing also weighed heavily in favour of the proposals.

View the correspondence

Roger Milne

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