A landmark ruling by a Planning Inspector paves the way for much-needed housing to be built in South Somerset.

Planning Inspector Nick Palmer overturned a decision by South Somerset District Council to refuse permission for 130 dwellings in Henstridge, near Templecombe, on the Somerset/Dorset border.

He said: “Given that there is less than a five year supply of housing land in the district the proposal would be of benefit in helping to address that shortfall. There is a particular acute need for affordable housing and the proposal would make a significant contribution in this regard. I have found that the site is reasonably accessible to local services and facilities. All of these factors weigh significantly in favour of the proposal.”

The original outline planning application was refused in January 2018. The appeal considered whether the location of the development accorded with planning policies; sustainable access to facilities; and highway safety impacts.

The fact that South Somerset’s Local Plan – the blueprint for development in the area – was ruled to be out-of-date as it did not provide the necessary Housing Land Supply provides potential for development in other villages in the district.

Crucially the planning inspector over-ruled the Council’s earlier edict to restrict development in rural settlements such as Henstridge provided there was access to at least two local facilities such as a shop or village hall.

The application sets a precedent for housing development in villages within the South Somerset District, providing an opportunity for landowners to realise the potential of their land.

There are a number of approaches to suit different circumstances. Some landowners will be happy to put in their own planning application, others will prefer to link up with a suitable house builder or land promoter having entered into an option, promotion or hybrid agreement.

The knowledgeable team at the Development Land and Planning Department at Greenslade Taylor Hunt is well versed in this specialist area and works across the South West and can offer expert advice tailored to individual requirements.

For more information please contact (01823) 334466 or email landplanning@gth.net