Success! Green Belt Appeal Allowed by PINS for Outline Permission for 3 Dwellings
Prism Ag worked closely with the client and created a planning strategy, originally submitting a pre-application to the Local Planning Authority (LPA) on behalf of the client, the LPA response to that 'pre-app' was negative with a few positive undertones from some internal consultees.
This particular site is in a village, with a pub and a bus stop, the village, whilst small, has its own Parish and therefore it is not a hamlet (which would have been part of another villages Parish). The site was a small area of grassland with trees along the front and one side, situated between two established residential areas with a road frontage on a linear street which runs through the small village. We therefore deemed that the plot of land was capable of being Infill, which is one of the exceptions of Paragraph 145 in the NPPF for 'limited infilling in a village'.
The same plot of land also had an application on it for the same 20 years previously and at that time it was in an area 'washed over by the Green Belt' the historic application was refused because the LPA stated at the time 'whilst the site is within a village where limited infilling may be acceptable, the size of the plot means its not capable of being infill'. Fast forward 20 years, the plot is approximately 40% smaller due to development on either side.
Despite the negative tones of the pre-application service, we proceeded to submit an Outline Application including Access and Layout (which included a 2D layout plan in colour as well as a 3D illustrative/concept plan in colour to show how it could look) for three link-semi-detached dwellings on the plot of land but saved Appearance and Scale for reserved matters. We also included various complex and in-depth established case law arguments within our Design and Access Statement and included a Green Belt statement and even tweaked plans to accommodate Highways requests mid application. Wakefield Council still refused the application citing that the village was not a village, therefore Para 145 was irrelevant and because the village was not within a list of villages on their website or within their local plan. The latter is not determinative and an assessment of the position on the ground must be made.
Wakefield Council refer to the village as a village on their own website and within various literature, as do a number of other organisations, on ramblers maps and even stated that it is a village 'in the literal sense of the word' but not a village for the purposes of discharging planning consent.
Prism Agriculture Ltd appealed to the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the client, PINS dismissed the first appeal but the first Inspector erred in law, Prism Ag sought a legal opinion from Planning Barrister, Richard Turney at Landmark Chambers who agreed with our case, the appellant then had to seek, via the High Court, a quashing of the appeal decision and the order was successful here
The appeal decision and the quashing order were then sent back to PINS for redetermination by a different Planning Inspector and Prism Ag was engaged by the client throughout the whole process, we also had assistance from Fred Quartermain at Thrings LLP for the costs application at the second stage. The second Inspector made an assessment of the position on the ground together with our original and subsequent submissions and the Appeal was Allowed.
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