De Pol was initially approached to provide advice on the development potential of 6.74 hectares of greenfield land on the edge of Darwen, which was identified as Green Belt land in the adopted Blackburn with Darwen Local Plan.
Whilst the Council were in the process of reviewing this Local Plan they were not promoting the subject land for development, as they were of the view that the draft replacement Plan already identified enough housing land to meet the needs of the Borough for the next 15 years.
Taking our advice the landowner instructed De Pol to lodge strategic representations to the draft Local Plan, with the aim of getting the land allocated for housing development. De Pol attended the subsequent Examination in Public and demonstrated to an independent Inspector that the Council’s draft Plan was unsound, as there was a need to allocate additional housing land to meet the Borough’s needs. It was also successfully demonstrated that the application site could respond to this need.
The Local Plan Inspector agreed and this strategic input at the Local Plan stage led to the site being released from the Green Belt and allocated for housing development. The site was specifically identified as one which would provide executive housing, contributing towards the Council’s strategy to attract and retain higher earners within the Borough.
Following this positive Local Plan allocation De Pol submitted an outline planning application for the development of the land for up to 134 dwellings, which has now been granted permission by the Council.