Sun Lane Development Decision: “Green Belt provides a clear reason for refusing the development”

Published: 25 November 2019

On the 5th November the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government issued the final decision document for the proposed development on Sun Lane. The document makes clear that following the planning inquiry held in the Queens Hall earlier this year, the independent planning inspector recommended that the application be approved and full planning permission be granted. While the Secretary of State agreed with many of the inspector’s comments, he disagreed with the Inspector’s conclusions.

The Secretary of State accepted that the plan would indeed deliver a substantial number of new market and affordable homes in an authority that has a historic under-delivery of housing.

Interestingly, the Secretary of State also agreed with the Inspector that there would be no impact on the local road network, and that the proposal would have no adverse ecological or nature conservation impacts. Nor did he consider that the proposed development would result in harm to the special qualities of the Area Of Natural Beauty located close by.

The main issue was Green Belt. In reaching a decision, the Secretary of State considered several documents including the Burley-in-Wharfedale Neighbourhood Plan which was voted for by residents last year. Given the site’s current undeveloped state the Secretary of State felt there would be an adverse impact on Green Belt land. Specifically that the exceptional circumstances required to release Green Belt land do not exist, and this was needed to justify this development in this land. This was the point which the Parish Council made clear in the 46 page submission to the planning inspector earlier this year. The Secretary of State agreed with the Parish Council position and stated “protective policies in relation to the Green Belt … provide a clear reason for refusing the development proposed”

The Parish Council are pleased to report that the Secretary of State disagreed with the Inspector’s overall recommendation and refused planning permission. The Parish Council would like to thank the large number of residents for their time and their personal financial support in helping challenge this development proposal.

Bradford Council has 6 weeks to seek a judicial review of this decision.