Harris Lamb’s planning consultancy team has welcomed the outcome of a three-week planning inquiry, having successfully secured planning permission for a 500-property development in Droitwich.

The inquiry, which took place earlier this year, was in response to an appeal proposal for up to 500 dwellings, a 200 unit care facility and a local centre at Yew Tree Hill.

The proposal had been promoted for more than five years on behalf of Barberry Droitwich Limited, and after refusing the development, Wychavon District Council’s decision was overturned by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP, on the basis that the council had no reasonable grounds for refusing the application, and had been unable to demonstrate a five-year local housing supply.

Patrick Downes, Director of Planning at Harris Lamb, presented evidence at the Inquiry.

Following the publication of the Secretary of State’s decision granting permission to the scheme, Patrick said:

“We are obviously all delighted that the case we presented has been accepted by the Inspector at the Inquiry and, in turn, the Secretary of State.

“We have all been working very hard on this case for a number of years and always believed that this was an appropriate location for development.  Our belief in the case has been fully justified and the decision clearly demonstrates the Government’s intention to tackle the problems of housing supply and to ensure that the planning system plays its part in the economic recovery of the country.

“I am also delighted for Barberry who, together with other members of the Consultancy team, worked very hard to bring this opportunity forward.  This project demonstrates that with hard work and dedication developments can be successfully promoted through the planning system,” he added.

A related appeal – covered by the same decision letter – gives Persimmon Homes outline permission for up to 265 properties on land adjacent to the Barberry site.

The Secretary of State’s letter stated that although the developments were outside of Droitwich’s current development boundary, the National Planning Policy Framework’s presumption in favour of sustainable development trumped Wychavon’s saved local plan.


He said that the authority was already proposing to increase its housing land supply by 3,000 homes in the emerging tri-borough plan, but had yet to decide where those dwellings should be located, while the Barberry site had been under “active consideration” as a location for development.


The letter said: “Overall, the secretary of state is satisfied that the adverse impacts of granting permission for both [schemes] would not significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits when assessed against the framework taken as a whole, and he does not consider that there are any material considerations of sufficient weight to justify refusing planning permission for either scheme.”


Development work at the site is expected to start in 2015.