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Green Belt Built on Due to Administrative Error

Council planning heads have apologised after an administrative error resulted in planning permission being granted for seven Haslingfield homes.

The green belt planning error occurred after the application refusal was incorrectly listed as an approval. The system consequently generated an approval letter to the applicant. The process has since been changed and additional safeguards put in place to prevent a recurrence of the incident.

The homes are located in the green belt, which is a location where developments must meet higher standards and criteria for planning permission to be granted. The Secretary of State must also review green belt development permission applications, a step that in this particular case had not been taken.

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Representatives for the South Cambridgeshire District Council have confirmed that once the green belt planning mistake was realised, they contacted the applicant before filing legal papers with the High Court.

Cllr Nick Wright, deputy leader for the council, made the application to the court. The Council has said that the green belt planning approval is expected to be rescinded within six to eight weeks.

Cllr Robert Turner, the cabinet member for planning for South Cambridgeshire District Council, said that the council takes full responsibility for the human error made in the case. He explained that nearly 2,500 planning applications are processed every year, and every effort is usually made to prevent these kinds of errors.

Conceding that the council ‘got it wrong in this case’, he said that they have reviewed what went wrong, issued an apology to the party who made the original application, and are changing the process to ensure that it does not happen again.

The Council confirmed that it has every confidence that the legal process to get the planning permission removed will quickly be applied.

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