‘Tilted balance’ defeats three councils and residents opposition to housing development

Mistley waterfront
Mistley waterfront

A government planning inspector has overridden the wishes of the Mistley and Manningtree councils, their district council and 200 people who objected to a plan for 67 houses.

The decision was made despite Tendring District Council being able to show it had a five year supply of land designated for housing development.

It was taken on the grounds of a “tilted balance” in favour of “sustainable” development.

Martin Rayner, chairman of Mistley Parish Council told the East Anglian Daily Times:

We are appalled at this decision.

This is typical of inspectors appealing to national planning rules which tilt the development in favour of the developers.

The 67 houses are on land between Mistley and Manningtree on the Stour estuary. The development would, in the words of the planning inspector, would, “materially assist in achieving the Government’s objective of boosting significantly the supply of housing”.

The inspector decided the emerging Local Plan for Tendring had just started its public examination and relevant policies which may be subject to change, should be given “only  limited weight”.

He applied the “tilted balance” in the National Planning Policy Framework that planning permission should be granted “unless the adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits.”

“Tilted balance” applies in the absence of relevant up-to-date development plan policies. In deciding this application Tendring’s emerging Local Plan were given little weight because they have not gone through all the stages before approval.


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