Council challenges planning inspector decision affecting strategic planning

Implications for the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan? You know, the one being delayed until after the next council elections …. for some reason …

“South Gloucestershire Council is to bring a legal challenge over a planning inspector’s decision to grant planning permission for a 350-home development in Thornbury.

The proposed Cleve Park scheme would also include a 70-unit elderly care facility, associated open space, community and commercial facilities, and infrastructure. The planning application was made by Welbeck Strategic Land LLP.

The local authority said it had “carefully considered” the Inspector’s decision and would be issuing legal proceedings challenging it.

South Gloucestershire added that it had written to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government James Brokenshire, “requesting that he exercises his powers to recover the planning appeals relating to developments in Charfield and another in Thornbury from the Planning Inspectors, and make the decisions himself”.

These requests relate to two applications, one for outline planning permission for the erection of 121 homes and a retail outlet on land off Wotton Road in Charfield (Barratt Homes, Bristol), and also the appeal relating to land south of Gloucester Road, Thornbury (Bovis Homes Ltd), which seeks outline consent for the demolition of existing agricultural shed buildings and residential development of up to 370 homes, a flexible use building, public open space, accesses onto Gloucester Road and associated infrastructure.

The council said that it considered that these appeals, if granted, would undermine the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) process and its impact upon the residents and communities of South Gloucestershire.

Cllr Toby Savage, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, said: “Enough is enough. I am determined to see the council take a robust approach to challenging unsustainable development across the district. Where we have taken difficult decisions to proactively and positively plan for future housing and jobs growth, we should not have decisions from the Planning Inspectorate which undermines this work as it only stores up economic, social and environmental problems for the future.”

Cllr Colin Hunt, Cabinet Member for Planning at the council, said: “In South Gloucestershire we are trying to be plan led with our decisions on planning applications. While we appreciate that we have a shortfall on our five year land supply, nonetheless we want decisions to reflect that we have a solid plan that was prepared in consultation with the public.”