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Appeal decision highlights need for additional suitable housing sites

February 2024

The former Taunton Deane area’s five-year housing land supply (5 YHLS) position has been successfully challenged at appeal. 

In a recent decision the Planning Inspectorate concluded that the council could only demonstrate a 3.75 YHLS against its 5 YHLS requirement. This equates to a deficit of 742 homes. 

This means that the council must now apply a tilted balance when assessing applications for new housing development. This essentially means the council will be required to view applications for housing more favourably, even where such proposals do not wholly align with the adopted Development Plan. 

Planning Partner at Greenslade Taylor Hunt, Mark Richards, explains that: “Over the last few years the requirement for new housing development to demonstrate nutrient neutrality in Somerset has severely constrained the council’s ability to grant permission for new homes. While solutions now exist and permissions are being granted, there can be no doubting the significant impact this issue has had on the supply of deliverable housing sites in the area. This announcement really highlights the extent of the issue and emphasises the importance of bringing forward suitable housing sites to meet the needs of our communities.” 

Do you have land available for development within or adjoining a town or village with good links to local facilities? If you would like advice on whether your land might be suitable for residential development then please contact our team of experts via email at or give the team a call on 01823 334466.

GTH is a leader in development land and planning matters across the South West with a proven track record of securing planning permissions for our landowner and developer clients. 

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