Secretary of State approves major greenfield residential development for Hallam Land

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Walker Morris advises on major greenfield housing development approved by the new Secretary of State

Planning specialists at Walker Morris have advised Hallam Land Management on a successful planning appeal for 360 houses near Warton in Fylde, Lancashire. The Firm’s involvement included providing specialist strategic planning advice and advocacy and legal support at the public inquiry.

Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for communities and local government has granted outline planning permission for the housing development proposals – one of the first the new Secretary of State has approved since the election.

Developer Hallam Land Management had appealed against Fylde Borough Council’s non-determination of its outline plans for the scheme in 2013. Thereafter, the Council fought the appeal in addition to well informed local action groups.

Following a public inquiry, the Secretary of State has agreed with the planning inspector’s recommendation that permission be granted.

The Inspector’s Report and Secretary of State’s decision letter grappled with several significant and contentious issues, including the weight to be apportioned to emerging Neighbourhood and Local Plans; a careful analysis of highway impacts in the context of national guidance; development in the Green Belt; and the symbiotic relationship of housing growth with a major Enterprise Zone.

The decision noted that additional housing was a “matter of considerable weight in favour of the proposal, as is the provision of affordable housing; and there is no reason why the development should be resisted for green belt reasons given the open uses proposed for that part of site within the green belt.”

Andrew Williamson and Rob Moore from the Walker Morris Planning Team advised Hallam. Rob Moore commented:

“This decision represents a significant outcome both for clients, as well as an enunciation of the Government’s position on the importance of delivering much needed market and affordable housing, where the context is appropriate. The Inspector’s Report cogently and analytically grapples with a range of relatively contentious and topical issues, such as emerging Neighbourhood and Local Plans; Greenfield and Green Belt issues and the importance of growth in the right place, particularly here on the doorstep of an Enterprise Zone.

“It is particularly pleasing due to the nature of the professional teams and individuals we worked with, not least the clients who diligently pursued what we consider will be an excellent scheme.”

The Walker Morris Planning Team was recently ranked in Tier 1 by the independent guide to the legal profession, Legal 500.

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