Arthur Stone are delighted to confirm that we have won another significant appeal to Scottish ministers for the erection of 15 new affordable homes, by the village of Thornton, for Quale Homes, a local, Fife based Building Company in partnership with Kingdom Housing.
Quale Housing are now able to start work as soon as possible, which is excellent news, particularly at this strange time dealing with the impact to the construction industry by Covid 19.
The application was deemed refused by Fife Council who used the housing data which informed the Housing Land Allocation for the refused SESplan 2 Strategic Development Plan. We argued effectively that no significant weight should be given to the refused plan data and that FIFEplan (2017) and the Approved SESplan(2013) should carry more significant weight.
Scottish Ministers agreed and this has further secured jobs at Quale Homes and delivered much needed high quality housing to the West of Fife – a win win!
Breakdown of the appeal process
- Application submitted in November 2018. Application still undecided at the end of March 2019 and Council advised that they were considering a refusal based on the published Examination Report for the Proposed SESplan2 Strategic Development Plan. We submitted an appeal citing non-determination to Scottish Ministers at the beginning of May 2019.
- The Council’s appeal submission to Scottish Ministers stated that there was a five year effective land supply in the Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes and Central Fife Housing market area, based on the calculations for the Housing Land Audit 2018 (which was based on SESplan2 housing land requirements). BY THIS POINT SESPLAN2 HAD BEEN REJECTED BY SCOTTISH MINISTERS.
- The Council acknowledged that SESplan2 had been rejected but considered that the background papers and assessment used to inform the housing land supply were material considerations with significant weight (arguing that Ministers hadn’t specifically said that their reasons for rejection included background papers and assessments). Fife Council relied on the Housing Need and Demand Assessment2 (HNDA2) 2015, Housing Background Paper and Examination Report, concluding that the most up to date position was that there was an effective 5 year housing land supply.
- Quote from Council submission to DPEA ‘These documents provide a more up to date position on the housing land requirement and allow the Council to continue to assess and provide a 5-year effective housing land supply. The Council has given significant weight to these documents, concluding with the Examination Report of SESplan 2, which were used to inform Fife Council Housing Land Audit (2018) and consequently the current Housing Land Audit is considered to be credible and robust’
- We then responded to the Council argument, arguing that significant weight should not be given to SESplan2 background papers etc. on the basis that any alternative spatial strategy could ultimately indicate different housing supply targets across the region. We argued that the Housing Land Audit 2018 couldn’t be used and that the FIFEplan 2017 was the relevant consideration.
- The Reporter agreed that it was not appropriate to determine how the conclusions of the SESplan2 Housing Need and Demand Assessment 2 should be interpreted and concluded that figures in 2018 Housing Land Audit ‘cannot be relied on because that conclusion is based on the housing supply targets in the rejected SESplan2. Consequently, I consider that the calculation of the 5 year effective supply must be based on SESplan 2013 and FIFEplan 2017. This, in turn, means that there is a shortfall in the five year housing land supply.’
- APPEAL APPROVED
Arthur Stone are still working hard to deliver architectural and planning projects during the Covid 19 lockdown. Happy to chat through any proposals for extensions, loft conversions, bespoke housing, agricultural schemes – give us a call on 07855538906 and ask for Allie Arthur.