Developer allowed to build flats despite council opposition

The case centred on the provisions and requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

The site in question, which was designated as a landscape setting area, was situated in Exeter where there were plans for a substantial increase in the number of students over the coming years. Core Strategy Policy CP1 required delivery of at least 12,000 homes in the period 2006-26, excluding student accommodation.

The local authority submitted that all non-communal student accommodation schemes should be included in the five-year housing supply figure, referred to in the NPPF, as contributing towards the housing requirement figure.

The developer submitted that such accommodation should not be included because there was no provision for student accommodation in the housing requirement figure; therefore, to include it in the supply figure would undermine the whole purpose of the NPPF requirement that housing needs were generally met and would mask the need for general housing in the city.

The planning inspector found that the proposed development would not harm the landscape setting.

She also concluded that student accommodation should not be included as part of the five-year housing supply.

The local authority appealed against the granting of planning permission but the High Court upheld the inspector’s decision.

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