Appeal won and costs awarded for three new dwellings in Green Belt village
This application for three dwellings proposed near Lapworth railway station had been refused in February 2017 on the basis the site was in the Green Belt and there was no financial contribution proposed for open space in the village.
Warwick District Council refused this application despite the fact the then-emerging Local Plan allocated the site for housing, and at the time there was as shortfall of housing land supply for the district. Additionally, it was not clear whether there was any need for improvements to existing open space and recreation in the village. By the time the appeal had got to the Planning Inspector, the Local Plan had been adopted meaning the site had been removed from Green Belt and was now allocated for housing. At the eleventh hour the council agreed its previous objections on Green Belt grounds had been overcome so the Inspector considered only whether the proposed development should make provision for open space in the area.
The Inspector agreed with our case that the council had not demonstrated the request for £8,164 was justified and he found the council had not provided evidence to confirm how many other contributions had been sought in the area in compliance with the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
We successfully argued it was unreasonable for the council to have refused our application. They had previously approved a similar application for housing in the same village on a brownfield site where no Green Belt objections were raised and without asking for a financial contribution. The Inspector agreed with our case that our client had been put to unnecessary appeal costs arising from the council’s unreasonable behaviour. Warwick District Council was found to have made inconsistent decisions and delayed development which should clearly have been permitted. As a result of this finding, the dwellings were approved, and the council has been ordered to repay our client’s appeal costs