Alex Williams secures consent to judgment by Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

12 Jul 2023

Planning and Environment

The Secretary of State has consented to judgment in Manor Properties (Bishops Stortford Ltd) v Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (CO/979/2023). The developer issued proceedings under s.288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 having been denied planning permission by an inspector in a s.78 appeal (APP/J1535/W/22/3296440). The developer proposed to demolish a bungalow and construct two pairs of semi-detached houses on land in Epping.

The developer’s written statement of case explained that the local planning authority could not demonstrate a 5-year housing land supply. Both parties were clear that the tilted balance under NPPF para 11(d) applied. The inspector dismissed the developer’s appeal and refused planning permission. The decision letter did not refer to the housing land supply position, to the tilted balance, or to NPPF para 11(d).

Having received the developer’s statement of facts and grounds the Secretary of State consented to judgment, agreeing that the Planning Court should quash the inspector’s decision and remit the developer’s appeal for redetermination. Lang J has now approved the consent order, which also included provision for the developer’s costs of the claim.

The case serves as a reminder of the need for planning decision-makers to demonstrate that they have turned their minds to relevant policies, especially significant policies like NPPF para 11.

Dr Alex Williams represented the developer, instructed by Michael Harman of Holmes & Hills LLP.