Gravityscan Badge Judge rejects localism challenge to housing approval « Alrewas Neighbourhood Plan

Judge rejects localism challenge to housing approval

Judge rejects localism challenge to housing approval

By Jamie Carpenter Friday, 08 March 2013

A judge has backed the communities secretary’s decision to approve two major housing projects in Gloucestershire, rejecting the local council’s claim that the decision ignored a change in the planning system brought about by the Localism Act.

Eric Pickles granted permission to two developers for 1,000 homes near the village of Bishop’s Cleeve last year.

Tewkesbury Borough Council opposed the permission and mounted a challenge at the High Court.

But judge Mr Justice Males last month ruled that there was nothing wrong with Pickles’ decision.

The council contended that the 2011 Localism Act had brought about a “fundamental change in the proper approach to planning applications”, arguing that the Act had “utterly transformed” the landscape of planning decisions.

But the judge said: “I would accept that the Localism Act made significant changes to the planning system, but I would not accept that the effect of those changes was to eliminate the role of the secretary of state in determining applications opposed by local planning authorities.”

The judge said Pickles found the council had failed to demonstrate that it was capable of meeting five-year targets for housing, and the balance came down in favour of permission.

Tewkesbury Borough Council leader Robert Vine, said: “The Act has not delivered what was expected and suggested by the government when it was introduced, which was to remove top-down planning and transfer power to communities.”

Karen Cooksley, head of planning at law firm Winckworth Sherwood, said the decision “shows that the secretary of state is serious about the five-year housing land supply”.

via Judge rejects localism challenge to housing approval.

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