Planning Potential achieve successes at appeal and committee, securing consent for new homes on a brownfield site in Harrogate

8 February 2019

Planning Potential are pleased to have recently gained two successful planning resolutions for a site in Harrogate, with one success at appeal and another at Harrogate Borough Council’s Planning Committee.

The successful appeal decision, for outline permission for nine new dwellings, came after an initial refusal by the Planning Committee in December 2017 on the grounds the proposal would result in the loss of employment land, contrary to local policy. On behalf of the client, Planning Potential obtained counsel advice from Philip Robson of Kings Chambers and worked collaboratively to appeal the Council’s decision to refuse the application.

The appeal submission focused on the Council’s housing shortfall and challenged the suitability of the site for employment, given the site’s constraints and the timely value of the site’s contribution to the District’s supply of employment land. During the course of the appeal, we were aided by the publication of the revised NPPF, which placed more emphasis on local planning authorities to take a positive approach to applications for alternative uses of land which would help meet identified development needs.

In December 2018, the appeal decision was allowed with the Inspector concluding “that the overall effect of the loss of employment land in this instance would be outweighed by the benefit of nine new dwellings to the local housing supply. In this regard, the proposed development would accord with the provisions of the NPPF in terms of boosting housing supply.”

The success at planning committee came after the submission of the appeal, as a result of advice from counsel that a revised application for eleven dwellings, the optimum number, should be submitted in order to make more efficient use of the site.

Planning Potential worked closely with the Council and architects throughout the application process to allay amenity concerns and prepare a masterplan that met the separation distances and design tolerances set by local guidance. We also rebutted resident objections, confirming that, despite the Council’s advances in the five-year housing land supply, it remains marginal and that the application should be assessed with the presumption in favour of sustainable development applied.

The application initially went before committee in November 2018, but members resolved to wait until the outcome of the appeal for nine dwellings before determining the planning application. Following the successful appeal decision in December 2018, the application was heard again at committee on 29 January 2019 and approved.