The harm caused to the Green Belt
The Inspector’s Report from the 2017 appeal concluded that harm caused to the Green Belt through encroachment was signficant. It similarly concluded that the harm caused by intentional authorised development was significant.
It is likely that the Inspector will increase the level of weight afforded to RBK’s policy progress from signifcant to considerable.
The best interest of the children is likely to attract more weight this time as the appellant’s children are now of GCSE age. With disruption already caused to their schooling by the Coronavirus lockdown, the Inspector is likely to afford this more weight.
The table above shows the weightings from the 2017 appeal and what they could be this time round.
Their consultant has argued in the previous paragraph that the “site is occupied by permanent structure that is not related to agriculture or forestry”.
This is inaccurate. A blog post by Scott Planning Services, The Challenges of Building Horse Stables in the Green Belt concludes:
Furthermore, the assertion is wrongly supported by PPTS paragraph 26 – this paragraph refers only to “brownfield” sites.
Recent case history
Rushett Stables’ Design and Access Statement refers to rulings from recent appeal cases to justify its evidence.
It strikes me that there could also be some rulings from recent hearings that may help us.
It is possible that there are further contestable assertions in the Design and Access Statement. These need to be identified and challenged.
An examination of recent case history could also be beneficial – the results of similar appeals or High Court rulings often attract significant weight.
There isn’t much time left until a representation has to be submitted.
Whilst I am happy to write a detailed representation again for the community, there is only so much I can do this week.
If anyone would like to assist, your help would be much appreciated.
For example, “googling” recently refused planning appeals involving Traveller Sites in the Green Belt could yield some priceless information.
Three years ago I wrote a supplementary representation for the MRRA that challenged various contentious paragraphs in the appellant’s submission. This time round, however, their new consultant has produced a more solid and cohesive argument.
Whilst there may be some points we can contest, I believe it is going to be harder to prevent the appeal this time round.
We can improve our position with a poll!
For future reference
RBK’s failure to address its unmet need is a significant problem that could cost us this appeal. Over the next 10 years RBK’s failure to build an average of 723 new homes a year could also cost us future appeals.
Communities can now avoid being penalised when their local authority under-performs. by asking for a Neighbourhood Area to be designated. This protects them from the effect of any sanctions that are imposed on their local authority.
Different planning rules exist within a Neighbourhood Area that allow communities to write their own local policies. These can be used to control where and when new housing is built in the village. Additionally communities can protect valuable assets and prevent speculative development.
MRC is currently submitting an application to RBK to designate a Neighbourhood Area for Malden Rushett so that we can avoid a repeat of this situation.
If you like that idea please sign up and help make it happen!
Unfortunately it is unlikely that the designation will be granted before the hearing date for this appeal.