Custom Build Site is Granted Permission on the back of a Successful Appeal

This week we received outline planning permission on appeal (PINS Ref APP/V2635/W/23/3320506 & Council Ref 22/01076/O) for our proposals to bring forward four building plots for self-build and custom housebuilding on our client’s site on the edge of the village of Docking, in in the Borough of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk.

The Inspector agreed with our extensive demand and supply-led evidence that the Council had failed in its statutory duty to deliver enough plots to meet the demand on its Self-Build Register and agreed with our team’s analysis that the Council’s actual supply of self-build plots had built up a significant shortfall.

The Council argued that the submission of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Form 7 Part 1 forms alone was appropriate evidence to demonstrate that sufficient self-build and custom housebuilding plots had been permitted. Our team argued that CIL Form 7 Part 1 is only a self-certification stage and does not provide evidence that an applicant would have input into design and layout, as required by the Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 (as amended). The Inspector agreed.

The Inspector therefore gave ‘significant weight’ to the delivery of much needed self-build and custom housebuilding plots, finding this sufficient to outweigh the ‘less than substantial’ harm to a designated heritage asset and non-accordance with the development plan (given the location of the site outside the settlement boundary of Docking).

The Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk must now accept that it is not meeting its duty with respect to those wishing to build their own home, seek to meet the shortfall that has built up, and afford at least ‘significant weight’ to self-build and custom housebuilding proposals until it can demonstrate it is meeting its statutory duty.

The decision also confirms what Custom Build Homes has been regularly advocating to our clients for some time, namely that off-site affordable housing contributions on self-build schemes constitute a dual benefit, not a reason for refusal.

We now look forward to working with our clients at ELEMENTO GROUP to bring forward the site for four custom build homes as soon as possible and thank Andrew Jones from our retained planning consultants at Tetlow King Planning and Robert Sutton at Cotswold Archaeology for their outstanding contributions.

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