The Court of Appeal will today and tomorrow hear arguments in the joined appeals of Hopkins Homes Ltd v SSCLG and Cheshire East BC v SSCLG. The principle at issue in both cases is the meaning and scope of paragraph 49 NPPF which provides that "relevant policies for the supply of housing" are "out of date" when the authority cannot demonstrate a 5-year supply of housing sites. The consequence of the relevant policies being out of date is that paragraph 14 NPPF and its presumption in favour of permission is engaged, with radically different prospects of success for the applicant.
The meaning of paragraph 49 has been subject to at least three competing constructions in judgments of the High Court since the NPPF came into force in 2012. The Court of Appeal granted permission to appeal on the basis that the paragraph 49 issue was of "wider importance" as well as standing a real prospect of success.
Jonathan Clay and Ashley Bowes appear for the Appellant in the Hopkins case, Suffolk Coastal District Council.