Plans to allocate custom-built housing plots in south Warwickshire village rejected by councillors
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Plans to allocate 12 plots to custom-built housing on the edge of Fenny Compton have been rejected by councillors despite planning professionals recommending a green light.
Lagan Homes requested planning permission from Stratford District Council to create the new homes on land off Station Road.
It brought two strands of planning policy into direct conflict with the recently adopted Fenny Compton Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) stating housing should not be permitted outside the built form of the village.
However, that policy framework, which informs decision making on proposals in line with national planning policies and those of the district, does not include a stance on self or custom-built housing.
Laws are in place to allow people to register their interest in acquiring land for self or custom built homes, where the occupier is involved in the design and layout of their home, including taking part in the construction process in some cases.
Councils in charge of planning are required to ensure there is adequate provision to cater for those registered in the area, something which informs planning decisions.
Planning officers gave that greater weight than the NDP but councillors disagreed, highlighting that Fenny Compton had taken more than its fair share of new housing in recent years and that more detailed figures showed the demand was not there for self or custom-built homes in or around the village.
Councillor Daren Pemberton: “The NDP is clear that this development is unacceptable.
“We should give great weight to the NDP, this is outside the built-up boundary regardless of the nature of the build.
“We are being asked to back away from the NDP because it is silent on the question of self-build and I do not think that is the right conclusion to come to.
“Frankly, I think it is worth testing. If this gets appealed and an inspector says yes in the absence of that single sentence then we know where we are.
"At the moment we are second guessing this.
“I am quite happy to back the NDP and if they appeal it, let the Planning Inspectorate actually give everyone clarity about this question because it is not only us, other authorities up and down the land have similar problems about being silent on the question of self-build.