Developer withdraws from Weedon homes plan after Supreme Court ruling

The planned development site as seen in the planning documents submitted to the council in 2014
The planned development site as seen in the planning documents submitted to the council in 2014

A developer has withdrawn proposals to build 121 new homes in Weedon following a Supreme Court ruling.

The decision by Gladman Developments comes three years after Daventry District Council (DDC) refused outline planning permission to develop land off New Street in the village.

An artist impression image from the planning document's design and access statement

An artist impression image from the planning document's design and access statement

Councillor Alan Chantler, strategic planning portfolio holder on Daventry District Council, said: “We are delighted with the outcome of the legal case and the subsequent decision by Gladman Developments to withdraw the application.

“We welcome new development in Daventry District, but it must be appropriate and in the right place. As this case has shown, we will not shy away from fighting our corner where we feel proposals are inappropriate and contrary to planning policies.”

The application originally came before the council’s planning committee in October 2014, and was refused because it was outside of the village confines, in open countryside next to a "special landscape area". The committee also had concerns over the impact the development might have on Weedon’s village character.

Gladman appealed the decision and permission was granted by a Government-appointed inspector following a public inquiry in June 2015.

In his decision letter, the inspector said the local planning policies on which the committee based their refusal were "out-dated", having been adopted in 1997 and later "saved" in 2007.

But DDC challenged this in the High Court, which agreed with the council that its policies should not be discounted merely on the basis of their age, and quashed the inspector’s decision.

The High Court judgement was later upheld by the Court of Appeal, and an effort by Gladman Developments to take the case further was refused in a short judgement at the Supreme Court.

Following the outcome of the legal case, the original appeal was set to be re-heard by the Planning Inspectorate in February 2018, but Gladman contacted the council last month to inform them they were withdrawing the application.

While it is possible a developer may propose a different scheme at the site in future, any development of the site remains contrary to DDC’s planning policy, which has been further bolstered since this application was first heard by its adoption of the West Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy.

As of April 2017, the council can demonstrate a housing land supply of 6.3 years – more than meeting the Government’s target of five years and making it less likely for any future planning appeal to succeed.

It is also in the process of preparing the Daventry District Settlements and Countryside (Part 2) Local Plan, a significant planning policy document, which will add further detailed guidance to help shape local decision-making on future planning issues.