Planning Decisions

Landmark Chambers NPPF Case Law Digest

A new resource has come to our attention which is made available by Landmark Chambers and provides a Digest which is intended to assist those dealing with the NPPF by providing references to case law where the NPPF has been interpreted by the courts. We have found this useful.

Also a resource from the Government listing decision letters on behalf of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government about Called-in planning applications and appeals is available here

Other planning decisions:

  • January 2015 – The communities secretary has dismissed plans for a 550-home development in North Yorkshire against an inspector’s advice after concluding that the plans were contrary to local and national planning policy.
    – See the article at Gazette Live
    The recovered appeal was located on former agricultural land within the limits of a modern town, bounded on two of its three main sides by existing development. The secretary of state has refused an outline scheme for 550 homes in north-east England as, although benefitting a housing supply shortfall, there was uncertainty over the build rate and the proposal would not maintain a green wedge between settlements
  • January 2015 – The secretary of state has rejected an outline application for residential development, a retirement village, local centre, community building, primary school, public open space and allotments in Cheshire, in line with his inspector’s recommendation.
    – See the article at Cheshire East Council
    Whilst not entirely agreeing with the inspector’s calculations in respect of housing land availability, the secretary of state arrived at the same conclusion that a five-year supply could not be demonstrated and that a 20 per cent buffer should be applied. He accepted that the idea of an extended green belt around Crewe might be uncertain, but he also agreed with the inspector that a decision to allow development on the site could reasonably be seen to pre-empt the outcome of the local plan examination.
  • January 2015 – Eric Pickles backed a planning inspector’s decision to refuse permission for up to 501 homes on a green belt site at Thurrock in Essex
    – See the article at Thurrock Gazette
    The combined weight of the contribution of the proposal to housing land supply and the limited weight that can be afforded to the provision of some affordable housing and the education contribution, does not clearly outweigh the substantial negative weight attached to the green belt by reason of inappropriateness, loss of openness and permanence, and conflict with at least three of the five stated purposes for green belt, and the additional limited weight attached to the harm to the character and appearance of the area.
  • January 2015 – Councillors throw out Berkeley Homes plans for Cranleigh development as Eric Pickles steps in
    – See the article at Get Surrey
    Waverley Borough Council’s joint planning committee voted to refuse developer Berkeley Strategic Land’s application for 425 homes in Cranleigh after Pickles, in a last-minute intervention ahead of the meeting, wrote to the council directing it not to grant permission without specific authorisation.
  • October 2014 – Redhill green belt arguments ‘based on misinterpretation of NPPF’ – substantial weight is given to any harm to the Green Belt
    – See the article at Landmark Chambers
    A judgement handed down by the Appeal court last week said the main issues in the case were whether the words “any other harm” in the second sentence of paragraph 88 of the NPPF “mean ‘any other harm to the green belt’ as submitted by the respondent or do they include any other harm that is relevant for planning purposes, such as harm to landscape character, adverse visual impact, noise disturbance or adverse traffic impact, as submitted by the appellants?”
    The court ruled that the inspector’s approach to “any other harm” was the correct one and the inspector was entitled to take the full range of potentially harmful effects into account when deciding that the benefits of the proposals to replace existing grass landing strips with a hard runway and ancillary infrastructure at Redhill Aerodrome were outweighed by the disadvantages.
  • October 2014 – “Unreasonable” council ordered to pay costs after refusing to remove affordable housing requirement from planning obligation
    – See the article at Out-Law.com
    A planning inspector has decided that the affordable homes requirement in a planning obligation for a stalled residential development in Lancashire should be entirely removed, and awarded costs against a local authority that “acted unreasonably” in refusing to delete it
  • October 2014 – Green light for 5,750-home Kent ‘garden suburb’
    – See the article at Out-Law.com
    Ashford Borough Council has resolved to grant outline planning permission for an urban extension of up to 5,750 new homes near Ashford in Kent.
  • October 2014 – Inspector rejects appeal on the grounds of the proposal would be contrary to the aims of sustainable development
    – See the Appeal decision Ref: APP/V3120/A/14/2221707
    “In my judgement the key aim is to encourage new housing in rural areas where community facilities and services exist and would be maintained by an increase in the local population as opposed to rural locations with limited facilities.”
    “I note that there has been a high degree of support for the proposal from the local community and that the construction of the dwelling would provide some short term employment. I also recognise that the Council has not identified a 5-year housing supply and the proposal would contribute towards the supply of housing in the district, albeit marginally. These benefits are not sufficient to outweigh the conflicts with development plan policy and the Framework identified above.”
  • September 2014 – Affordable homes requirement removed from Yorkshire housing scheme
    – See the article at Out-law.com
    A planning inspector has decided that the affordable homes requirement in a planning obligation for a stalled residential development in South Yorkshire should be entirely removed, after agreeing with a developer that it rendered the scheme unviable.
  • September 2014 – Planning inspector reduces affordable homes requirement for 1,100-home Gloucestershire scheme
    – See the article at Out-Law.com
    A planning inspector has decided that the affordable homes requirements in planning obligations for a 1,100-home residential scheme in Gloucestershire should be reduced, after determining that it rendered the proposed scheme unviable.
  • September 2014 – Pickles gave “significant weight” to the fact that the development site was not allocated for development in the emerging Malmesbury neighbourhood plan
    – See the Decision by Eric Pickles Ref APP/Y3940/A/13/2200503
    Although Wiltshire Council could demonstrate only a 4.1 year supply of housing, Pickles concluded that “the immediate benefits of releasing the appeal site as a contribution to meeting overall housing demand in the wider area are insufficient to justify the release of this site so soon before the examination of the neighbourhood plan proposals is complete.” The MNP is due to be examined by a planning inspector in hearings starting on 18 September
  • September 2014 – Pickles gave “significant weight” to the policies in the emerging Neighbourhood Plan and made his decisions in line with its proposed housing allocations.
    The respective planning inspectors in each case had given the Neighbourhood Plan little weight, considering that its policies might change through the examination and adoption process, and basing their decisions instead on the overall balance of benefits against potential harm offered.Pickles refused permission for 120 homes at Sayers Common and for 81 dwellings on College Lane in Hurstpierpoint and granted permission for 157 homes at Little Park Farm and north of Highfield Drive in Hurstpierpoint. In all three decisions and in the decision on the Malmesbury proposals, Pickles said that he “consider[ed] it appropriate … to give local people an opportunity to ensure they get the right types of development for their community while also planning positively to support strategic development needs”.
  • 13 August 2014 – Planning inspector alters affordable homes requirement due to economic viability issues
    – See the article at Out-Law
    A planning inspector has altered the affordable homes requirement in a planning obligation agreed between a housing developer and a London council, after determining that it rendered the proposed scheme economically unviable.
  • 1 August 2014 – “Paragraph 14 of the Framework does not import a formulaic two stage test” said the Judge
    – See the article at No 5 Chambers
    The Judge has cautioned against ‘elevating the dicta in William Davis .. into a formulaic approach.’ What Patterson J has not done however is to offer a definitive solution for how paragraph 14 ought to be applied. The judgment states rather opaquely ‘…it would be contrary to the fundamental principles of the NPPF if the presumption in favour of development, in paragraph 14, applied equally to sustainable and non-sustainable development. To do so would make a nonsense of Government policy on sustainable development.’ Having rejected a formulaic two stage test, however, Patterson J has arguably still left open the question of how a decision maker is to ensure that development which passes the paragraph 14 presumption test meets the 3-part definition of sustainable development within paragraph 7 as the judgment implies the presumption test in paragraph 14 itself is not definitive of whether a development is to be considered sustainable or not.
  • 31 July 2014 – Planning inspector dismisses developer’s appeal against affordable housing requirement
    – See the article at Out-Law.com
    A planning inspector has dismissed a developer’s appeal to have the affordable housing requirement removed from a planning obligation. The inspector preferred the Council’s “clear and detailed report” in relation to viability of the proposed development, agreeing with the Council’s valuation methods and concluding that the developers construction costs were in excess of that justified by the balance of evidence”.
  • 30 June 2014 – High Court upholds refusal of residential consent at site designated for mixed-use
    – See the article at Out-Law.com
    A High Court judge has upheld Reading Council’s decision to refuse consent for a plan to build a residential development on a site designated in local planning documents for a mixed-use scheme.
  • 17 June 2014 – Pickles dismisses appeal to build homes on green belt despite lack of five-year housing supply
    – See the letter from the Secretary of State
    “The proposal is inappropriate development in the Green Belt and, overall, would lead to significant harm to the Green Belt overall, to which he attaches significant weight. Although there are clear factors in favour of the proposal including that it would bring forward much needed new housing within a shorter timeframe than is likely through the local plan process the Secretary of State does not consider that the harm to Green Belt and other harm is clearly outweighed by other considerations such to justify allowing the appeal.”
  • 21 May 2014 – Oldham developer successfully appeals affordable homes deal
    – See the article at Planning Resource(Subscription)
    A planning inspector has allowed an appeal for the removal of an obligation requiring the developer of a housing scheme in Oldham to make a £283,000 financial contribution towards affordable housing.
  • 20 May 2014 – Tattenhall Neighbourhood Plan adopted following judicial review
    – See the article in the Local Government Lawyer
    The neighbourhood plan for a Cheshire village has finally been adopted after surviving a judicial review challenge from two housebuilders.
  • 29 April 2014 – Inspector allows reduction of Lancashire scheme’s affordable housing contribution
    – See the Appeal Decision Ref: APP/J2373/Q/13/2207649
    A revised viability appraisal based on up to date figures showed that the affordable housing requirement of the existing planning obligation meant the development was not economically viable. “A revised obligation reducing the total affordable housing payment to £5,070,000 would be adequate”
  • 17 April 2014 – Pickles blocks development in conflict with an adopted neighbourhood plan
    – See the Decision from the Secretary of State
    The minister rejected the proposals because of their conflict with an adopted neighbourhood plan. He said the proposals went against the site allocation policies set out in the Broughton Astley Neighbourhood Plan, which was made part of the council’s development plan in January this year.
  • 19 March 2014 – High Court dismisses challenge to Winchester Core Strategy
    – See the Winchester Council Press release
    Judge rules that the Planning Inspector was right to find that the housing requirement figure set out in Winchester City Council’s draft local plan was sound.
  • 13 February 2014 – High Court upholds permission for 200 York homes without affordable homes
    – See the article at Out-Law.com
    The Judge said that the inspector’s conclusions that the Council’s lack of housing supply was a first priority and that the development should not be delayed by too high affordable housing requirements were “planning judgements which are not open for challenge”.
  • 23 January 2014- Concerns over highway safety blocks 345 homes
    – See the Decision letter
    The Secretary of State said that the highways issues raised “overriding negative arguments” against the proposals and that their impacts were “severe” under the NPPF. The proposal for a residential development and a crèche in Clitheroe in Lancashire was dismissed.
  • 26 November 2013 – Pickles rejects proposals for 203 Lancashire homes on design grounds
    – See the Decision Letter
    The Development has been rejected on appeal by Secretary of State after he found that the scheme would fall “significantly short of the expectation for high quality design” in the local authority’s development plan.
  • 16 October 2013 – High Court backs refusal of 1,400-home Leicestershire proposals
    – See the article at Out-Law.com
    The Judge said that the Inspector and the SoS had directed themselves correctly by asking whether the proposed development was sustainable. “It would be contrary to the fundamental principles of the NPPF if the presumption in favour of development in paragraph 14 applied equally to sustainable and non-sustainable development,” she said.She said that it had been a “legitimate planning judgment” to conclude that the relevant local policy remained relevant and was not out of date. She noted that a proposed ‘Area of Separation’ policy was “intended to prevent coalescence and maintain the physical separation of settlements, just as the Green Wedge policy had previously done”.
  • 11 October 2013 – Only if the development is sustainable, then the “presumption in favour” should apply
    – See the article at Landmark Chambers
    The Judge accepted that paragraph 14 of the NPPF only applies to a scheme which has been found to be sustainable development. It would be contrary to the fundamental principles of NPPF if the presumption in favour of development in paragraph 14 applied equally to sustainable and non-sustainable development.
  • 12 August 2013 – Inspector rejects plans for 150 Cheshire greenfield homes as unsustainable
    – see the article in Out-Law
    Proposals for a 150-home development at Peel Hall Farm in Warrington would not be sustainable and would prejudice the local authority’s approach to the release of housing land, a Planning Inspector has concluded.
  • 30 July 2013 – Inspector gives green light to 131 greenfield homes in Hampshire
    – see the article in Out-Law
    Proposals for a residential development at Mengham on Hayling Island have been granted planning permission on appeal after a Planning Inspector concluded that the benefits of the scheme outweighed any potential harm caused by development on countryside land in an undeveloped gap between Gable Head and Mengham, which is part of an Area of Outstanding National Beauty (AONB).
  • 15 July 2013 – A Green Chain of Open Space in an Urban Area
    – See the Planning Inspectorate Site for Appeal 2188973
    The site is Strategic Open Space rather than previously developed land within the highest priority areas for housing development. The development would reduce the separation between settlement areas, and remove part of a green chain of open space in an urban area. therefore there would be great harm to the character and appearance of the area.
  • 26 June 2013 – The Secretary of State overruled the Planning Inspector
    – See the Planning Inspectorate Site for Appeal 2177157
    The inspector allowed an appeal for 165 houses at Thundersley, Essex. On June 26, 2013, the Secretary of State disageed on the grounds of: inappropriate development in the greenbelt; prevention of urban sprawl; and merging of neighbouring settlements.
  • 27 March 2013 – Water companies may be criminally liable for sewage leaks, even if accidental
    – see the article in Out-Law
    Companies responsible for the operation of the sewer networks in England and Wales can be found criminally liable for unlicensed depositing of controlled waste even where that deposit of waste is unintentional, the High Court has ruled in a case involving Thames Water Utilities Limited.
  • 21 February 2013 – New alliance calls for “Smart Growth” investment in cities, not more 1980s-style sprawl
    See the CPRE press release
    A new alliance of civic, environmental and transport bodies including the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), the Campaign for Better Transport, and Civic Voice, today calls for a radically new ‘Smart Growth’ approach which they want adopted for any new large scale developments. Smart Growth aims to prevent urban sprawl; make best use of brownfield land in towns and cities; provide and encourage sustainable transport; protect countryside and heritage and create sound communities.

 

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