A recent appeal decision by an Inspector has found that the legal requirement on Councils to meet the Self-Build and Custom Build demand overrules the controls set out in the Local Plan.
A planning inspector has allowed plans for 30 Self-Build plots in Woodville, Swadlincote, following North West Leicestershire District Council’s (NWLDC) initial refusal to grant outline planning permission. Permission was not granted due to development site falling outside the planning boundary in what was considered the ‘countryside’ according to the Local Plan.
The reversal of the appeal decision highlights the importance of the legislation within the Housing and Planning Act (2016), where there is a duty on Local Authorities to give suitable permissions for enough serviced plots of land for self-build and custom house building to meet the volume of demand in the relevant Base Period of the Register. The Inspector felt that the need to meet this duty outweighed the need to adhere to planning boundaries created in the Local Plan.
Despite claiming that enough plots had been permitted to account for the Self-Build and Custom-Build demand in the area, it was found that this was not in fact the case. Only a limited number of plots did in fact have any mechanism to limit their development to self-builders and therefore the Council could not show that enough plots had been allocated specifically for Self and Custom Build purposes. Therefore, the decision was to overrule the Council’s decision and to grant permission for 30 Self-Build plots in order to meet the demand in the area.
The decision will have far-reaching consequences on Appeals relating to any future Self Build developments. Councils will need to demonstrate that enough plots have been approved to meet the demand and that these plots are protected by measures to ensure they are solely for Self or Custom Build developments. Additionally, applicants for Self-Build sites will also need to demonstrate that applications contain procedures to safeguard development for the use of Self-Build or Custom-Build projects.
The full appeal decision notice can be found here.