Conflict with a Neighbourhood Plan – all a question of judgment

19 Jun 2018

Planning and Environment

The Court has dismissed a challenge to a decision by an Inspector to grant planning permission for ten dwellings in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire (Cheshire East Council v SSCLG [2018] EWHC 1524 (Admin)).

The proposed development was outside the settlement boundaries of the Brereton Neighbourhood Plan, whose function was to protect the character of the area. Notwithstanding that conflict and some limited harm to the character and appearance of the area, the benefits of the proposal (including the need to boost the supply of housing and the delivery of affordable housing) justified the grant of permission.

The Council challenged the decision of the Inspector on the basis that the Inspector had failed to apply the policy requirement (contained in paragraph 198 of the NPPF as was then in force) that development contrary to a Neighbourhood Plan should normally be refused and had failed to properly weigh the conflict with the Neighbourhood Plan in the planning balance.

The claim was dismissed and the Inspector’s decision upheld. The Inspector had plainly had regard to all relevant policies and properly weighed the relevant considerations in the balance.

Jack Parker acted for the Secretary of State.