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Chiltern District Council's Green Belt Policy with regard to agricultural buildings is consistent with the NPPF

CHILTERN DISTRICT COUNCIL v (1) SECRETARY OF STATE FOR COMMUNITIES & LOCAL GOVERNMENT (2) MR FRANK LORD CO/3628/2015 (31/12/15)

David Lintott successfully represented the Claimant local authority. Gwion Lewis represented the First Defendant. The claim pursuant to section 288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 was allowed by consent and the decision of the First Defendant contained in a Decision Letter dated 29 June 2015 was quashed.

In his decision letter the First Defendant's inspector's had found that the Claimant's Development Plan policies were out of step with the NPPF because the NPPF, unlike the Development Plan, did not use the words "reasonably required" for agricultural or forestry purposes when defining inappropriate development in the Green Belt. He therefore concluded, in spite of the clear wording of Development Plan policy, and although a greenhouse was not reasonably required for agricultural or forestry purposes, that it did not amount to inappropriate development within the Green Belt as defined in paragraph 89 of the NPPF.

In the statement of reasons within the order it was accepted by the First Defendant that the Inspector had erred in law in finding that the Chiltern District Council Local Plan was inconsistent with the NPPF with regard to agricultural buildings in the Green Belt, and that relevant policies were out of date. The matter was remitted for redetermination.

This is the second such decision in 12 months (see Chiltern District Council v (1) SSCLG (2) Lord [2015] EWHC 1020 (Admin) where Mr C M G Ockelton (Sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge) ordered that a claim be allowed on similar grounds.)