Administrative error gave permission to build on green belt

Council planning bosses have apologised after an administrative error meant planning permission was incorrectly granted for seven homes in Haslingfield.

The error took place after the decision to refuse the application was incorrectly entered as an approval in to a computer system which generates a letter for the applicant. This process has already been changed and additional checks put in place to try and make sure the problem does not happen again.

The homes are in the green belt – a location where any development must pass a much higher test for permission to be granted. Any permission for development in the green belt must also be reviewed by the Secretary of State, which in this case had not been completed.

South Cambridgeshire District Council have said that once the error was spotted they spoke to the applicant and have now filed legal papers with the High Court.

The application to the Court has been made by Cllr Nick Wright, the Council’s deputy leader and the Council has said that they expect the planning approval to be rescinded within 6-8 weeks.

Cllr Robert Turner, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member for planning, said, “We completely hold our hands up – we have made a human error in this case. We process around 2,500 planning applications a year and we make every effort to avoid errors of this sort. We got it wrong in this case and reviewed what happened. We have apologised to the applicant and are making changes to our processes to try and make sure it does not happen again.”

The Council has said it is very confident the legal process to remove the planning permission will be quickly resolved.

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