Secretary of State ascribes Very Substantial Weight to 173 new Affordable Homes in Oxfordshire Green Belt following persistent failure to deliver

April 29, 2020 1:45 pm Published by

Tetlow King Planning (TKP) are delighted to have assisted in the recovered appeal success for 500 homes in the South Oxfordshire Green Belt. Appointed by Oxford Brookes University, TKP produced detailed evidence on the need for affordable housing and the benefits the scheme would have for local residents in dire need of an affordable home.

Image provided courtesy of FPCR.

Inspector DM Young, advising the Secretary of State, asserted that in the context of a lengthy housing register of 2,421 households:

“It is sometimes easy to reduce arguments of housing need to a mathematical exercise, but each one of those households represents a real person or family in urgent need who have been let down by a persistent failure to deliver enough affordable houses”.

He went on to state that :

“Although affordable housing need is not unique to this district, that argument is of little comfort to those on the waiting list” before concluding that “given the importance attached to housing delivery that meets the needs of groups with specific housing requirements and economic growth in paragraphs 59 and 80 of the Framework, these benefits are considerations of substantial weight”.

In undertaking the planning balance the Inspector found that:

“The Framework attaches great importance to housing delivery that meets the needs of groups with specific housing requirements.  In that context and given the seriousness of the affordable housing shortage in South Oxfordshire, described as “acute” by the Council, the delivery of up to 500 houses, 173 of which would be affordable, has to be afforded very substantial weight”.

In determining the appeal the Secretary of State concurred with these findings, thus underlining the importance of addressing needs on the Housing Register in the face of acute needs and persistent under delivery.  

James Stacey (Director) presented the affordable housing evidence at the inquiry alongside FPCR (Landscape), Asset Heritage Consulting (Heritage), Iceni Projects (Housing Need), SWECO (Highways) and Avison Young (Planning and Housing Supply). The appellants Counsel was Christopher Young QC of No.5 Chambers.