A PLANNING committee has been advised to avoid refusing planning applications for “undefendable” reasons.

In 2018 Bradford Council's Regulatory and Appeals Committee went against planning officers' advice and refused plans for 102 houses and a 90 bed care home on land between Fell Lane and Braithwaite, Keighley.

Applicants Coshore Holdings appealed the decision, and earlier this year a planning inspector overturned the Council's decision.

The authority was also ordered to pay £8,294 in costs to the developer.

The inspector had said the committee was wrong to side with the many objectors to the application over their own planning experts.

Council ordered to pay over £8,000 to developer after 'unreasonable' decision to refuse housing plan

At a meeting of the committee held remotely on Thursday, member discussed the appeal decision.

John Eyles, major development manager told members that the inspector had disagreed with three of the five reasons the committee originally gave for refusal.

This included the loss of a community asset, the lack of affordable housing and highways concerns.

He said: "They felt that three reasons for refusal were undefendable. He acknowledged that planning officers found it extremely difficult to argue our case.

"The message is it is not a numbers game. One really good reason for refusal can be defended, but a decision can be weakened by an undefendable reason for refusal."

He pointed out that the cost awarded the the developer could have been much higher than the £8,294 awarded.

Members were told that there was no specific budget to deal with the costs of planning appeals, and that the money would have to come from other Council budgets.