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Failure to Investigate Alternatives Fatal for Proposed Property Development

Any application for property development has to be considered against the local development plan. In addition to the plan, the planning officer must also take account of the local development policy and any other material considerations.

When an application for 26 houses was submitted to Mid Sussex Council, the relevant planning policy provided that any such development which was outside the 'settlement limit' set by the Council should be allowed only in exceptional circumstances, when there was no other site which was suitable to meet the local housing need. Accordingly, the policy required that an assessment of alternative sites should be undertaken before planning permission was granted.

The planning inspector's report made no mention of this condition and permission was granted for the development.

Opposition to the development resulted in an application to quash the planning permission on the ground that it was granted improperly.

The court agreed, concluding that the inspector's report had misled the planning committee.

Just because planning permission has been granted does not mean that a new development is inevitable. We can advise your community on resisting undesirable developments on your doorstep.

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