Cornerstone appeal allowed

Planning permission granted, despite the lack of affordable housing.

Posted - Feb 12, 2023

On February 9, the planning inspector, Benajamin Webb, issued his decision on Cornerstone’s appeal against the City Council’s refusal of planning permission for their proposed development of Jericho Wharf.  

He accepted that, as the JWT argued, Cornerstone’s had underestimated the housing revenue. This was also conceded at the hearing by the developer and the planning officers.  However, he also believed that costs had risen since the planning committee’s decision and concluded that these changes would balance out, so there would still be no funds for affordable housing. Should there actually turn out to be excess profit he agreed that 60 per cent of such ‘uplift’ should go to the Council with 40 per cent  for the developer.

For the Jericho Wharf Trust, chair Phyllis Starkey commented: “We are naturally disappointed that the planning inspector did not uphold the City Council’s refusal of permission. And if, as we anticipate, this development were to deliver excess profit, the uplift could be spent on affordable housing – but not in Jericho, as there is no other housing site available here.”

Cornerstone could now go ahead with the development subject to a lengthy list of 21 conditions related to environmental requirements, for example, and to  operating plans for the boatyard and the community centre.

However, Cornerstone is under no obligation to proceed at all. Indeed, under the present ownership of the site there have already two abandoned schemes – one that obtained conditional planning permission and a second that went through pre-planning and a public consultation but for which permission was never sought. In principle therefore, they could now prepare yet another scheme…

The full text of the decision is available here in our Documents section