Communities secretary Sajid Javid has blocked a planning appeal by Haddon Property Development for a 900-home scheme on a former golf course in Cheshire.
Mr Javid stepped in following a Planning Inspectorate inquiry into the failure of Cheshire East Council to determine the planning application for the scheme.
In his judgement the communities secretary agreed with a Planning Inspectorate report that dismissed two separate appeals into the scheme: one dealing with the local council’s failure to decide the planning application for the former golf course, and a second relating to section 106 restrictions on the number of homes permitted on the site.
The proposals for the 67 ha former golf course were put forward for planning consent in 2014 and included plans for a new primary school, indoor and outdoor recreational facilities, and supporting retail development.
The first appeal, known as Appeal A, was lodged by Haddon Property Development into the failure of the local council to determine the planning application for the 900-home scheme.
A second, Appeal B, appealed against Cheshire East Council’s failure to modify a section 106 restriction put in place in 2003 on the number of dwellings that could be built on the golf course.
The decision letter stated: “The proposed development is not plan-led. It is contrary to the adopted development plan and will not be allocated in the emerging LPS. Those promoting a Neighbourhood Plan are implacably prejudiced against it.”
Haddon Property Development had claimed that the proposals had helped alleviate the housing shortage in the area. The appeal case stated that the area had suffered from a housing shortfall of 5,205 homes as of March 2016.
However, according to the decision by Mr Javid, the local council had since been able to demonstrate 5.3 years-worth of land supply.
In doing so, Mr Javid determined that the scheme would “prejudice and undermine” the new council policies, adopted in July 2017.
The decision added: ”The secretary of state considers that the proposed development would prejudice and undermine the overarching spatial policies of the LPS.
“The secretary of state considers that no material considerations indicate that the development should be determined other than in accordance with the development plan, and he therefore concludes that the appeal should be dismissed and planning permission refused.”