Secretary of State, Sajid Javid, recently supported a West Sussex Neighbourhood Plan even though Arun District Authority doesn’t have a 5 year housing supply. Javid overruled an inspector to support Yapton’s Neighbourhood Plan and block 100 homes; showing it is possible that robust NP policies can carry significant weight and overcome the lack of a 5yr supply.
Javid disagreed with Inspector David Nicholson on a number of points – the NP’s ‘built-up-area-boundary policy’ and their housing policy committing Yapton to making “additional allocations” for housing if Arun’s local plan requires them – which he said should be given “substantial weight”. He said the latter policy gave Yapton “flexibility to allow a shortfall in housing to be met”.
The communities secretary also blocked plans last month for up to 100 homes at a site in Herefordshire; concluding that the proposed Gladman development in Bartestree would be contrary to an emerging neighbourhood plan – once again despite the local authority not having a five-year housing land supply.
So whether it is seen as inconsistency or mere flexibility no two cases seem to be exactly the same; Javid told the Conservative party conference last month that they will take “unprecedented steps’ to deliver more homes but the government is also committed to neighbourhood planning.
The decision over Gladman’s appeal for 119 homes at ShearBrook is scheduled for the end of November.