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CPRE:Sefton opposes proposal for 100 houses on Green Belt site

Site of proposed housing development Site of proposed housing development Photo: © Jackie Copley

In its representation to Sefton MBC, Sefton District Group has challenged the applicant's interpretation of planning policy and the law; it has also criticised specific features of the planning application.

The main part of the representation is essentially a rebuttal of (a) the applicant’s questioning of the Green Belt status of the site and the relevance of Sefton’s Unitary Development Plan even when it is consistent with the government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), (b) the applicant’s invoking of the presumption in favour of sustainable development even though the NPPF specifically excludes Green Belt land from the presumption, (c) the applicant’s attempt to exploit the NPPF’s 5-year housing land supply rule without due regard to the law as set out in the rulings of the Court of Appeal and the High Court when estimating objectively assessed need for housing and (d) the applicant’s disregard of a number of recent ministerial statements emphasising the importance of protecting Green Belt land when judging if very special circumstances exist which would justify the proposed development notwithstanding the harm it would do to the Green Belt.

In addition, Sefton DG pointed out that a substantial area of the site consists of Grade 2 agricultural land, contrary to the applicant’s documentation, and argued that this best and most versatile agricultural land should be preserved for the production of food.

Finally, Sefton DG strongly argued against the applicant’s preference for the foul effluent from the proposed 100 homes to be treated by means of an onsite package treatment plant (exact location unspecified) rather than disposal by connection to a public sewer.

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