No support in statute or authority’ for limiting the decision-maker’s planning judgment (Gladman Developments v SSHCLG)

10 Feb 2021



LexisPSL: Planning analysis: The Court of Appeal has clarified the relationship between the presumption in favour of sustainable development in paragraph 11 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the statutory duty in section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (PCPA 2004) to determine applications in accordance with the development plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

Reinforcing well-established case law, the court held that the exercise of assessing a development’s compliance with the policies in the NPPF can properly embrace consideration of policies in the development plan. Whether or not (and how) to include any relevant development plan policies is a matter of planning judgment. The court also held that there is no prescribed method for discharging the statutory duty under PCPA 2004, s 38(6). The decision-maker can go about the task in a way that seems suitable in the particular circumstances of the case, which may include an approach that incorporates the application of the tilted balance under para 11d)ii into the decision-making under PCPA 2004, s 38(6) in one all-encompassing stage.

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