Posted by: westlancashirerecord | May 12, 2017

Parrs Lane, Plan B, And Is Localism Still Alive?

The Aughton Residents’ Group has fought long and hard for it’s perception of “Localism” as it applies to local agricultural land at Parrs Lane  NOT being developed for housing, especially on the scale sought by Redrow and Wainhomes. And In April 2017 it was determined by the Planning Inspectorate that “under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Appeal by Redrow Homes Ltd at Site Address: Land to the north west of Parrs Lane, Aughton, Lancashire, L39-Following a High Court challenge to our Inspector’s decision on this appeal dated 9 December 2016 the Court has ordered that the appeal be re-determined. This does not necessarily mean that the Inspector will reach a different overall decision.

“Having regard to the published criteria pertaining to Section 319A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 we consider that the appeal should be determined on the basis of a local inquiry/re-opened local inquiry. The Inspector will also consider any relevant evidence previously submitted, unless it is expressly superseded by its originator during this ‘redetermination’ process”.

Moving on to that “re-determination process” WLBC has submitted a letter a few days ago in which is stated “1. The re-determination will be by a different Inspector in accordance with the usual practice; 2. The appeal will be re-determined de novo “starting from the beginning”; 3. The appeal should be re-determined on the basis of a local inquiry/re-opened inquiry.

The Council is in full agreement that this is the correct approach to be taken. Case-law has confirmed that following a quashing of an Inspector’s decision the matter must be re-determined de novo and the re-determination is not limited to the issues upon which the decision was quashed.

Leaving aside the boring legal bumph, WLBC states “Housing supply issues-A key issue on the re-determined appeal will be housing supply issues. For the purposes of the previous inquiry the main parties agreed that the start date for the five year period for which both the requirement and supply should relate was the five year period from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2020 with the Council’s 2015 AMR, the most recently then published, the document which listed the sites to be assessed. The base date of 1 April 2015 is now over two years old. It is plainly not appropriate on any re-determination that this be the base-date. As your letter correctly acknowledges, an appeal when re-determined must be judged against the circumstances as they exist at the date of the re-determination.

The next AMR is expected to be published in June 2017. This will set out the most up-to-date position and should clearly be the basis upon which the parties prepare their proofs for the further inquiry. The Council anticipates that this AMR will again show that the Council has a five-year housing land supply. Further, Plan B as referred to in the Local Plan  requires a review of housing supply after 5 years of the Plan period – that is to say April 2017. The review involves considering housing completions against the pro rata housing target after 5 years. Plan B is triggered if less than 80% of the pro rata housing target has been delivered. When Inspector Sproule determined the appeal this review date had not yet occurred. The position has changed. Enclosed with this letter is information relating to housing completions. This shows housing completions for 2016/17 were 305 dwellings (net) and so the Council delivered 1,255 dwellings (net) in the first five years of the Local Plan.  This represents 83% of the pro rata housing requirement of 1,510 dwellings, the official publication of housing completions, and so the implications for the Plan B will be contained in that 2017 AMR. The current Local Plan housing requirement (averaged over the whole Plan period) is 324 dwellings per annum, therefore the latest evidence does not trigger the Plan B. This will be covered in the Council’s evidence and so the implications for the Plan B will be contained in that 2017 AMR.


  1. No. No it isn’t. In fact, it’s never ever existed; merely yet another idea from the bumper book of deceit & control.

    • That’s probably right. The “aim” is apparently to facilitate the devolution of decision-making powers from central government control to individuals and communities. It hasn’t made an appearance yet here in West Lancashire.

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