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Housing Scheme Allowed in Cambridgeshire Despite Lack of Affordable Housing Provision

Saira Kabir Sheikh QC

A planning inspector has allowed an appeal brought by Hallmark Hotels (Bar Hill) Limited against the decision of South Cambridgeshire District Council to refuse planning permission for 40 residential dwellings across two sites and also made a costs award in favour of the appellant.

The key issues in the appeal were 1) whether proposal would make adequate provision of affordable housing and 2) the effect of the proposal on the character and appearance of the area.

The Council had sought 40% affordable housing provision based on its Policy HG/3 of the council’s Local Development Framework Development Control Policies Development Plan Document 2007.  The Appellant offered a maximum of 20% affordable housing on the basis of the particular costs associated with the development and other viability considerations.

The Appellant was awarded costs due to the failure of the Council to provide any reasonable basis for its position on affordable housing in light of its own independent report which agreed with the Appellant’s contentions.

The Inspector rejected both the Council’s reasons for refusal and granted permission for 40 residential units with 20% affordable housing.

The planning decision can be found here and the costs decision here.

Saira Kabir Sheikh QC appeared for the successful appellant, Hallmark Hotels (Bar Hill) Limited instructed by RPS CgMs