26 June 2018
The Planning Inspectorate has sided with Lightwood and allowed its appeal against the decision of Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) to refuse the application for 45 dwellings at land south of Ovingdean Road.
In reaching her decision the Inspector, Lesley Coffey, considered all the evidence submitted and concluded that the site was urban fringe in character and the proposal would not harm the landscape character and appearance of the surrounding area, or the setting of the South Downs National Park (SDNP). Whilst she accepted that there would be limited harm to the ecology and biodiversity of the site, this was not deemed substantial enough to outweigh the considerable benefits the site offered.
Most significantly, Lightwood submitted during the appeal a correction to the supply figures within the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA). Based on the amended figures, BHCC was only able to demonstrate a very marginal five year housing land supply, with a surplus of just 4 dwellings and a number of other questionable sites included within the figures. This view was supported by the Inspector who concluded that the Council was unable to demonstrate a 5 year supply of housing land and the precise extent of the shortfall would be at least 200 dwellings, but probably greater.