Council heads for High Court over housing supply dispute

Fylde Council is taking the Planning Inspectorate to court over its housing supply.

Thursday, 6th February 2020, 4:46 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th February 2020, 4:48 pm
Fylde is taking High Court action

The adopted Local Plan for Fylde states that 479 homes need to be built every year until the end of the plan period in 2032.

But a planning inspector appointed on behalf of the Secretary of State, has decided that the number of homes that the Council is required to provide sites for should be increased, disregarding the Local Plan.

The Inspector has concluded that sites for 3,199 homes are needed, equivalent to 640 homes each year.

Under Government policy, councils which do not have a five-year supply are at risk of losing planning appeals and being forced to accept housing proposals on sites that are not allocated for development and so would normally be refused.

Fylde, contesting it has a five-year supply of housing sites, has requested the Planning Inspectorate to reconsider the matter, but they have declined.

Consequently, the council says it has no option but to seek a judicial review of the Inspector’s decision, with the matter to be considered in the High Court.

Coun Trevor Fiddler, chairman of Fylde's Planning Committee, said: “The APS procedure would appear to be a sensible and efficient way for councils to fix their five-year housing land supply.

"It is unfortunate that the Inspector appears to have fallen into error in this case.

"If the Inspector’s approach here is repeated, it could be a huge disincentive for councils to issue an APS, and would undermine the whole APS procedure and the plan-led system.”