Homes site is thrown out

The site of the homes
The site of the homes

Plans for 35 new homes in Byfield have been thrown out by a planning inspector who rejected an appeal by the 
developer.

The proposal for the site, south of Woodford Road on the edge of the village, was originally turned down by Daventry District Council (DDC) prompting the appeal.

The case against DDC’s decision hinged on whether the site was outside the village, the effects on the countryside, and whether Daventry district had enough housing land.

In his decision, the planning inspector Tim Wood wrote: “I consider that it constitutes part of the ‘open countryside’ as distinct from land within the confines of the existing village.

“In addition I do not accept the appellants’ description of the site as being surrounded on three sides by housing.”

In recent years DDC has found its hands tied over the location of new homes as it did not have a district strategic plan, nor could it demonstrate it had enough land earmarked for homes to meet demand.

Planning authorities like DDC are expected to have enough housing land available to build on to meet demand for the next five years.

The planning inspector heard the council had 4.38 years’ supply, but ruled that it was not ‘severe or critical’.

Mr Wood concluded: “The proposal would involve development in the open countryside which in unacceptable in principle. Furthermore, due to the location of the appeal site, its position in relation to the village and the form of the development proposed, the proposal would have an unacceptable effect on the character and appearance of the locality.

“These matters are sufficient to significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the proposal, including the fact that I have found that the council is not able to demonstrate a five year supply of deliverable housing sites, albeit that the shortfall is not great.”

Cllr Bob Patchet said: “A similar appeal was also dismissed in February 2012 but this time the planning framework and the current housing land supply for Daventry district was also taken into account. It is understandably an excellent decision for the residents of the village of Byfield following a great deal of hard work from officers and members at the district council.”