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Corsham planning appeal and the WC five year land supply

April 10, 2022 7:52 PM

An application to build an 80-bed care home north of Bath Road, Pickwick, was refused by Wiltshire Council and has now been dismissed by an appeal inspector.

The main reason for the decision was the impact on the Conservation Area, but the question of the five year land supply was also considered in some detail by the inspector.

The point about 'deliverability' means the land supply can never be nailed down to an exact figure. Whilst the number of houses granted planning permission but as yet unbuilt could be counted, there will always be disagreements about how many of them are actually deliverable in any timeframe.

For this appeal, WC claimed a land supply of 4.49 years and the developers produced a figure of 4.10 years. The lower the figure the more likely the decision should be to tip in the developers' favour. The inspector decided to accept a figure of 4.14 years which had been used at another recent appeal in Malmesbury.

The fact that the number of houses actually being built - another number which can be counted - is well over the required number also weighed in WC's favour.

A number of other factors were considered by the inspector in coming to their decision, so this can't be taken as too much of a precedent. Other recent appeals have been won by developers because of the five year land supply deficit. However it does show that local communities can win despite WC's inefficiency on that matter.