A 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.

Applicant Coshore Holdings appealed the decision, and earlier this year a planning inspector overturned the refusal. The authority was also ordered to pay £8,294 in costs to the developer.

At the latest meeting of the committee, members discussed the appeal decision.

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

He said: “It was felt that three reasons for refusal were indefensible. 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 costs awarded could have been much higher.