Housing Secretary blocks plans for 203 homes near Milton Keynes

In October 2017, the Housing Secretary Brokenshire requested the recovery of an allowed appeal relating to outline planning permission for 203 homes. The appeal site consisted of 15-hectares agricultural land north of Woburn Sands. The Housing Secretary’s main concern with the development was the proposed density of 16 dwelling per hectare.

It was noted that such low density was a “very significant departure from policy”. This was contrary to the perspective of the original Inspector who referred to the development as “exceptional quality” and providing a “product not typically available elsewhere”.

The proposed density contradicted local policy which requires 35 dwellings per hectare. This was a particular concern as the Council’s previous housing land supply figure of less than 5 years was now recalculated by Brokenshire (noting the recent change in definition of ‘deliverability’) and concluded as at least 5.9 years. The Housing Secretary therefore overruled the original recommendation and dismissed the appeal on 5th December 2018.

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