The development was unique in being promoted as the first BREEAM Communities accredited scheme and was intended to be developed in line with garden village principles. However, the Council successfully argued that the development was in conflict with the development plan in bringing large scale development to an area not allocated for substantial growth. The development was located some distance away from facilities and would lead to increased car usage, also in conflict with the plan. The positives of the development were insufficient to outweigh this conflict.
The decision is interesting as the first real test for BREEAM as a tool for the assessment of development. The Appellants had argued that BREEAM accreditation should be equated to sustainability for the purposes of development management but the Inspector agreed with the Council that it was not a site selection tool and therefore was out of step with the NPPF and development plan which steered development towards sustainable areas and areas with lowest flood risk.
Stephanie Hall appeared for West Lindsey District Council
The appeal decision can be found here.