Council writes to Planning Inspectorate despite winning appeal

Rejecting the conclusion that the council could not demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land

Date issued: 30 August 2019 

A developer that lodged plans with Colchester Borough Council to build 97 homes in West Bergholt has lost the appeal it launched last summer.

Gladman submitted a scheme to build the new houses on a greenfield site between West Bergholt and Colchester. The Planning Inspector, Mr Woolcock, concluded that Gladman’s proposal should be determined in accordance with the council’s Development Plan and, because it did not comply, that it should be dismissed.

However, despite dismissing the appeal, Mr Woolcock found the council could not demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land – a conclusion the council has since challenged in a letter to the Planning Inspectorate Chief Executive, Sarah Richards, citing a lack of detailed reasoning.

Councillor Mike Lilley, Portfolio Holder for Communities, Wellbeing and Public Safety, said: “I am delighted the inspector dismissed Gladman’s speculative development on the grounds that it would adversely affect the character and appearance of the area and conflict with the council’s planning policies.

“We have fought off another speculative development that sought to manipulate our planning-led system. We have communities developing neighbourhood plans to guide developments in their local area while developers, such as Gladman, seek to undermine all their good work.

“I am, however, hugely disappointed with the inspector’s opinion that we do not have a five-year supply of deliverable housing land in the borough. Residents can clearly see that we have been building more than our fair share of new homes.

“Our officers demonstrated there was a sufficient number of development sites in the pipeline, including some the Planning Committee has already approved, and yet, bizarrely, the inspector thought otherwise.

“We will continue to defend our position that there is a five-year supply of land, and I want to make it abundantly clear to everyone that speculative developments will not be tolerated in our borough.”

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