Vacant building credit and housing development in the Green Belt

April 28, 2017

Giles Atkinson has successfully defended an LPA’s decision not to apply the Vacant Building Credit to a 46 house development in the Metropolitan Green Belt.

In what is believed to be the first Inspector’s decision on the discretion provided by NPPG para 023 providing for authorities to consider ‘Whether the building is covered by an extant or recently expired planning permission for the same or substantially the same development’, the application was refused on the basis that insufficient affordable housing was being proposed.  VBC was not applied because an earlier scheme had recently been granted permission which was identical to that refused but for the affordable housing provision in the earlier scheme which was policy compliant.

On the facts of this case scheme viability was found to be distinct from the intention of the VBC policy to incentivise brownfield development.

PINS Ref: APP/N1920/W/16/3162337