Evidence of self-build shortfall helps secure permission for three self-build plots in Newcastle-under-Lyme

June 20, 2022 12:51 pm Published by

Tetlow King Planning is pleased to have secured outline planning permission for three self-build plots in the village of Loggerheads, in Newcastle-under-Lyme borough. The decision, issued in June 2022, provides a helpful example of how Local Planning Authorities can consider the need for self-build housing in the decision-taking process. Our team worked positively with the Council’s officers to help establish the principle of development and to negotiate the details of the planning permission.

Critical to the success of the application was demonstrating that the self-build scheme could address an unmet need in Newcastle-under-Lyme. The application was supported by detailed evidence from Tetlow King Planning that showed a significant shortfall in self-build approvals, relative to the Council’s statutory duty to provide enough self-build permissions to meet the level of demand. The Officer’s Report recognised the importance of delivering self-build plots – particularly in the context of a dated Development Plan – and concluded that the self-build element of the scheme merited substantial weight in the planning balance.

The application site lies on the fringe of the built-up area of Loggerheads and the surroundings are characterised by individual houses set in large plots, creating a ‘transition’ between the village and the countryside. The site also has good access to local services and facilities in Loggerheads village. As the Council’s Officer’s Report notes, both of these site-specific factors are important in establishing the principle of development here.

The outline planning permission provides as much flexibility for the eventual self-builders as possible. However, important safeguards have been agreed, chief amongst which is a Unilateral Undertaking which ensures that the self-build plots will come forward subject to a design brief and marketing strategy. Planning conditions have also been agreed to protect the existing trees on site and to ensure that construction works are well-managed.

Commenting on the successful outcome, Tetlow King Planning director and specialist in self-build and custom housebuilding, Andy Moger, said:

“The Council has rightly recognised the importance of meeting its statutory duties for self-build. Other site-specific factors also helped, including the good access to services and the character of the local area. Above all, the Unilateral Undertaking provided the Council with the assurances it needed to take a favourable view of the application, and we worked closely with officers to negotiate the eventual planning permission.”

Andy Moger was assisted by Annie Gingell and Jamie Roberts in managing the application; the Unilateral Undertaking was progressed by Joshua Shotton and Sally Butter of Graham Withers and Partners.