East Hoathly Village Concerns Blog

lots of acronyms – please see categories: Abbreviations

A better interpretation of Hopkins by the minister – Wealden beware!

This decision by Sajid Javid has thankfully blown a large hole in Wealden‘s application of the Hopkins judgement..

This part of Buckinghamshire had a persistent undersupply of housing, but despite this, Javid overturned the inspector’s decision to approve a 1,500 house application, throwing it out on the basis that the development would result in a fundamental change to the character of the landscape and would threaten the identity of the village of Bierton.

Javid gave the lack of housing very considerable weight, but still decided that this would not outweigh the harm caused. He affirmed that policies in the development plan should be given some weight even though both sides agreed that there was only a three year land supply.

I feel a further note to Wealden councillors is due in light of this decision.

Elsewhere (and I can’t now find where), Javid has indicated that he considers that an allocation of sites in a local plan effectively amounts to a mandate for development. This means that once  the new local plan has been adopted that any allocated sites within it are effectively lost. With Wealden now jumping next to the publication of the submission copy of the plan, our only formal chance of influence on any sites is by means of a comment on the submission plan and at the adoption hearing. So much for local democracy.

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