Minister approves major schemes over councils' heads
Thursday 16th August 2012
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has given the green light for two major residential developments in the Gloucestershire countryside after Tewkesbury Council turned both down.
The schemes, on two farms at Bishop’s Cleeve, propose a total of 1,000 new homes.
The council’s refusal of both schemes, on greenfield land, was overturned on appeal, when the inspector said that there was not enough land for housing without using greenfield sites in the Central Severn Vale.
Pickles has now agreed with the planning inspector, saying that the schemes proposed by developers Comparo and Welbeck Strategic Land were sustainable, and were justified because the lack of a five-year land supply and an up-to-date development plan.
Pickles has also allowed plans by Peel Group for a 350-home scheme at Worsley in Manchester.
This had been refused both by Salford City Council, whose decision was upheld at appeal.
But Pickles has overturned both the council and the planning inspector, saying that although the scheme was not in accord with the local development plan, like the Gloucester proposals, it represented sustainable development and was justified given the lack of a five-year planning supply.
The decisions are a stark warning to local councils that they will lose control over their planning if they do not have core strategies in place showing at least a five-year supply of land for development.
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