Tewkesbury Borough Council’s Executive Committee is set to urgently review the council’s housing position following a new development being approved at appeal.

Planning permission was granted on 11 September for 45 dwellings at Truman’s Farm in Manor Lane, Gotherington, despite the proposal conflicting with the council’s adopted local planning policies on where new housing developments should be built.

The decision followed an appeal by Lioncourt Strategic Land Ltd to the Planning Inspectorate.

In coming to his decision, the Inspector reported that the council could not demonstrate a sufficient existing reserve of housing sites to provide a minimum of five years’ worth of housing – a requirement under national planning policies.

A five-year housing land supply requires councils to continuously identify land sufficient to deliver at least five years’ worth of new housing needed in its area. In practice, this usually means maintaining a register of sites where planning permission has already been granted and housing would be delivered within five years.

In cases where there is a shortage of available housing land, planning permission is likely to be granted for proposals that may not otherwise have been approved unless any associated harm from the new development would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits.

Lead member for built environment Cllr Mary Jordan said: “As the council’s new administration, we are working hard to ensure that fewer appeals are lost having inherited a position where too many applications are being decided by the Planning Inspectorate.

“Unfortunately, a lack of five-year housing land supply is by no means unique to Tewkesbury Borough. Local planning authorities are working in a dysfunctional and broken system that penalises areas like ours, despite us having delivered rapid growth over many years.

“A complete reform of the planning system must be a priority for the next Government – we need sustainable and high-quality homes built in the right places with local councils being given the powers to properly manage this process”.

As an immediate priority, the council is producing an interim Housing Position Statement.

The statement will explain how the council will work proactively to address the shortfall in housing land supply, detailing the council’s overarching approach to future residential development proposals.

The interim Housing Position Statement will be considered at an Executive Committee for endorsement in Autumn 2023.

Cllr Mary Jordan added: “Whilst we focus on our approach to deliver a five-year housing land supply; we also remain committed to ensuring that future developments align with our community’s needs and sustainability goals.

“We will, of course, continue to give careful consideration to matters such as green belt protection, landscape importance and highway safety.”

Category: Planning