Inspector approves plans for 100 homes

A public meeting at West Haddon Village Hall to discuss new homes.
A public meeting at West Haddon Village Hall to discuss new homes.

A decision to reject a planning application to build 100 homes in West Haddon has been overturned by the Planning Inspectorate.

The proposal for the homes on land to the east of the village between Guilsborough Road, Northampton Road and the A428 bypass was rejected by Daventry District Council’s (DDC) planning committee in July 2014 ahead of an appeal by developer Davidsons Development Ltd. Following an inquiry and site visit in November the inspector has now concluded, despite the fact the development would take place on pristine greenfield land and contravened the parish’s development plan, that: “The adverse impacts of the proposed development would not significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits.”

The report goes on to state that as DDC cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of housing, “normal” circumstances do not apply.

It adds national policy in this situation is that planning authorities should presume in favour of sustainable development.

The inspector, Mr R Schofield, concludes any future development must be considered on its ‘site-specific merits’.

He wrote: “While I have concluded that the appeal scheme is acceptable given the site context and housing land supply situation, the fact that up to 100 dwellings have been allowed on appeal in West Haddon would be a consideration to be weighed in the balance when considering any future development proposals.”

In a statement on West Haddon Parish Council’s website, Cllr Alan Perks and Richard Tilt, of the Neighbourhood Development Plan Steering Group, said they were disappointed in the decision to approve the homes, which will increase the size of the village by 17 per cent.

They said: “The parish council will need to consider whether they wish to challenge the inspector’s decision in the High Court.

“In the meantime, the steering group will continue to work on the Neighbourhood Development Plan.”

The draft Neighbour Development Plan (NDP) is out for public consultation until January 31 and can be downloaded from the parish council website.