Daventry District Council launches two legal challenges against planning applications approved by inspectors on appeal

Daventry District Council Offices
Daventry District Council Offices

Daventry District Council (DDC) has launched legal challenges against two planning appeal decisions.

The challenges relate to an application in Weedon and another in Barby that were originally refused planning permission by the council in 2014 but have since both been allowed on appeal following hearings this year.

On October 9 2014, the council refused an application for 121 houses on land off New Street in Weedon. This decision was appealed in December and was given planning permission by an inspector in June 2015.

DDC has now challenged this appeal decision based on how the appeal inspector dealt with adopted local plan policies.

On July 31 last year the council refused an outline application for five houses on land off Kilsby Road in Barby. The decision was appealed in November and permission was granted on appeal in May this year.

DDC has challenged this decision because it says the appeal inspector concluded that the council does not have a five-year housing land supply and also considered it was unreasonable to request affordable housing for a development of five houses.

The council’s adopted policies, including the West Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy, require affordable housing for developments of five or more houses.

Therefore, if allowed to stand, the Barby appeal decision impacts on future of the council’s affordable homes policy.

National Planning Policy Guidance at the time of the appeal stated that only developments of 10 or more houses should include affordable housing. However a High Court decision this week, in favour of West Berkshire District Council, ruled the guidance was unlawful and it has now been withdrawn.

DDC says the High Court decision will help its own legal challenge as the council’s case is that adopted Local Plan policy carries more weight than the (now revoked) guidance.

Councillor Chris Millar, leader of Daventry District Council, said: “Having carefully studied the appeal documents relating to these applications and the reasons for overturning these original decisions we have taken counsel opinion and decided to legally challenge these two outcomes.

“We never take such action without due consideration of all the implications.”