Appeal won for 151 homes in Metropolitan Open Land in South East London

July 1, 2019 1:10 pm Published by
Source: Bromley Borough Local Plan (2019)

Tetlow King Planning (TKP) are delighted to have helped secure permission for 151 homes in Bromley, South East London.

Director James Stacey (Tetlow King) provided expert affordable housing evidence at the Inquiry demonstrating very special circumstances at the appeal on behalf of Dylon 2 (land owner) and Relta (developer) against the decision by London Borough of Bromley. TKP’s evidence sought to highlight the importance of delivering affordable housing in both a national and local policy context, as well as evidencing the local shortfall in the Borough. James was able to put forward the benefits of the affordable housing provision within the scheme which contributed towards the very special circumstances required to develop within this area of London’s Metropolitan Open Land.

The scheme proposed 151 homes on land within Bromley which constitutes Metropolitan Open Land (MOL – London’s internal Green Belt) and is afforded the same protection and Green Belt (GB). Therefore any housing development on MOL is treated as inappropriate development. It is important to note that one third of London is designated as MOL or Green Belt yet the New London Plan has not sought to revise any MOL or GB boundaries.

The appeal site is a former sports pitch, with sports club; the proposals were within the previously developed areas of the site, with the remainder being proposed as open space. There is new residential development to the north east however, that land was not MOL.

Bromley Council argued that the Local Plan (January 2019) could provide a five year housing land supply; during the course of the appeal and with evidence from the appellant to state that it was 3.2 years, the Inspector concluded that the housing land supply solely based on the contribution of allocated sites and sites with outline planning permission (without addressing the issues regarding windfalls, dwelling uplift, completions before the base date and office to residential conversions) was 4.25 years. The Local Plan currently allocates less than one third of the land that it needs to meet the housing requirements, and is highly constrained by the Green Belt and MOL designation. Part of TKP’s evidence included evidence regarding the wider housing market in the Borough. The Inspector noted that in Bromley ”In terms of housing affordability, the average house price is 67% higher than the national average and the average house price to average income ratio sits at 14:26”

In Paragraph 35 of the Inspector’s decision he states: “The future position for general and affordable housing looks bleak. Based on the LPA’s existing 5 year supply figures the forecast total amount of AH is 405 units, 28% of the identified annual requirement”

TKP’s affordable housing evidence was important in demonstrating very special circumstances with the Inspector concluding that “very substantial weight should be attached “to the provision market housing and particularly the pressing need for affordable housing”.

The appeal decision can be viewed here. Thanks go to the wider team, Chris Young QC and Leanne  Buckley-Thomson at No 5 Chambers and the team of consultants including Ian Ritchie Architects, Montagu Evans, Paul Finch, West and Partners and Lichfields.