SECRETARY OF STATE REJECTS PLANNING INSPECTOR'S RECOMMENDATION ON GLEBE FARM APPEAL

Excellent news - we have just received a report setting out the results of the Glebe Farm Planning Appeal.

While the Planning Inspector, Mr Clive Sproule, recommended that Gladman’s Appeal be upheld, nevertheless the Secretary of State disagreed with his  recommendation, dismissed the appeal and refused planning permission. 

This is a further setback for Gladman, as yet again it founders on the rock which is our Winslow Neighbourhood Plan (WNP). As we might have expected, Gladman is to challenge the Secretary of State’s decision on Glebe Farm. They can only do that if they feel that the Secretary of State has erred in law - so it will be yet another High Court challenge (this time against the Secretary of State).

While the Secretary of State accepted a number of the points made by the Inspector, he placed considerable weight on the fact that the WNP had been “made” and the “spatial strategy” encapsulated by the Winslow Settlement Boundary (WSB). The Secretary of State placed “very substantial negative weight on the conflict between the appeal proposal and the Winslow Neighbourhood Plan”; he concluded that “there are no material circumstances that indicate the proposal should be determined other than in accordance with the development plan”.  

This is excellent news and bodes well for the “called-in” Appeal on the Little Horwood Road/Sheep Street site (LHR3).

Neil Homer (Winslow Town Council’s planning consultant) commented:

“I see no reason why he [Secretary of State, Eric Pickles] will come to a different view on Gladman’s other Appeal [LHR3] and AVDC should be very grateful that the WNP allowed them to successfully defend an appeal when all other reasons have been dismissed. I am especially heartened by the role that the settlement boundary policy has played in enabling the S.o.S. to regard the Appeal as contrary to the WNP – had we not applied that device here it’s possible he may have been persuaded by Gladman’s argument that its scheme(s) are compatible with the WNP.”

So, another major battle is won , but further battles to come – not least the Judicial Review of the WNP plan-making process at the High Court in London on 11 & 12 December 2014 and the Secretary of State’s decision on Glebe Farm at a date in 2015 still to be decided.