Planning and Environmental Exempt Information

June 17th, 2022 by James Goudie QC in Planning and Environmental

The statutory framework for access to information at principal local authority meetings, including when the public may be excluded, as in Stride v Wiltshire Council (2022) EWHC 1476 (Admin), is set out in the Local Government Act 1972. Section 101A provides for such a meeting to be open to the public unless excluded by Resolution.

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Planning Decision

May 25th, 2022 by James Goudie QC in Planning and Environmental

In R (Goesa) Ltd v Eastleigh BC (2022) EWHC 1221 (Admin) Holgate J. sets out the statutory framework in relation to a grant of planning permission as follows:-

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Overlapping Regulatory Regimes

May 24th, 2022 by James Goudie QC in Planning and Environmental

In R (Vanbrugh Court Residents Association) v London Borough of Lambeth (2022) EWHC 1207 (Admin) a judicial review challenge to a grant of planning permission fails. The permission was for a roof level extension to a four storey block of flats so as to provide sixteen additional residential units and five external lifts. Thornton J. summarises the legal frameworks on material considerations (paras 18-22), overlapping regulatory regimes (para 23), duty of sufficient inquiry (para 24), the Court’s review of Planning Officer Reports (para 25), and interpretation of planning policy (para 26).  A local planning authority is entitled to place reliance on the effective operation of other regulatory regimes, but must assess them sufficiently so as to be able to satisfy itself that the other regulatory regime is capable of regulating the relevant issues. The existence of the other regulatory regime is a material planning consideration, to be weighed in the balance. Thornton J. adds (para 39) that the existence of the building control regime was a material planning consideration, to be weighed in the balance. It was open to the Council to place reliance upon the effective operation of the regime in determining the planning application, provided it satisfied itself that the building control regime was capable of regulating the relevant issues.

 

Heritage Assets

April 12th, 2022 by James Goudie QC in Planning and Environmental

London Parks & Gardens Trust v Minister of State (2022) EWHC 829 (Admin) concerns whether there will be “substantial harm” to heritage assets, and consideration of the impact of a proposed development on relevant heritage assets. The “high test” is whether potential harm will be: “substantial”, rather than “less than substantial” for the purposes of the NPPF, that is a serious degree of harm to the asset’s significance. The significance of the historic asset does not have to be “drained away”. The test is “substantial harm”, not any gloss, such as “draining away”.

 

Breach of Planning Control

March 18th, 2022 by James Goudie QC in Planning and Environmental

On (1) effective service of Orders, (2) proceeding in landowners’ absence, and (3) continuing interim injunction, to restrain breach of planning control, see. North Northants Council v Mangan (2022) EWHC 536 (QB).

 

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

February 21st, 2022 by James Goudie QC in Planning and Environmental

Was the Council in R (Finch) v Surrey County Council (2022) EWCA Civ 187 required to include in an EIA for a project of crude oil extraction for commercial purposes, an assessment of the impact of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the eventual use of the refined products of that oil as fuel?  No, say the majority of the Court of Appeal. Likely environmental effects do not extend beyond environmental effects, both direct and indirect, of the proposed development itself, to include anything which might follow as a consequence of planning permission being granted and implemented for that development.

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Interpretation of Policy

January 24th, 2022 by James Goudie QC in Planning and Environmental

In Wiltshire Council v SoS (2022) EWHC 36 ( Admin ) the Court reiterates the legal principles to be applied by a Court when a decision of a Planning Inspector or other specialist decision-maker is challenged on the basis of alleged misinterpretation of policy.

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Community Infrastructure Levy

January 21st, 2022 by James Goudie QC in Planning and Environmental

There has to be certainty as to when and how liability for the CIL will arise. A chargeable development ceases to be eligible for social housing relief if, before it is commenced, a commencement notice is not submitted to the local authority. So held in R (Heronslea) v SoS (2022) EWHC 96 (Admin). Also held that liability to pay the levy arises upon the commencement of the chargeable development.

 

Certificate of Lawful Use or Development

July 1st, 2021 by James Goudie QC in Planning and Environmental

In McGaw v Welsh Ministers (2021) EWCA Civ 976 the Court of Appeal states that the General Permitted Development Order exists in order to relieve developers of the regulatory burden of applying for planning permission in categories of case defined in such a way that it can be seen that such permission ought to be granted, and to relieve planning authorities of the burden of dealing with such applications. The classes of cases to which the GPD Order applies are defined so as to set out the parameters for the grant of general permissions while protecting various concerns relevant to planning concerns, including height restrictions and visual amenity and restrictions to limit what can be seen from the highway. The Court of Appeal says, at para 17, that the GDP Order should be approached in the light of its statutory purpose.

Both the words that set out what is permitted and those that limit the scope of the permission should be read in a “broad and common sense way” according to the “ordinary meaning” of the language used.

 

Revocation

June 7th, 2021 by James Goudie QC in Planning and Environmental

R (Ocado) v Islington LBC (2021) EWHC i509 concerned the revocation under Section 193(7) of TCPA 1990 of a CLEUD, a Certificate of Lawfulness of an Existing Use or Development, granted under Section 191 of the Act. The grounds for the revocation were that the application for the CLEUD had contained statements which had been false in a material particular and had withheld material information. The judicial review challenge to the revocation was dismissed. Holgate J ruled that Section 193(7) does not require the withholding of material information to have been deliberate.