Coun­cil takes hous­ing bat­tle to high court

Macclesfield Express - - DRUGS MENACE - STU­ART GREER

CHESHIRE East Coun­cil is ap­peal­ing to the Supreme Court af­ter a de­vel­oper won an ap­peal against it’s re­fusal to al­low 146 houses to be built in what could be a land­mark rul­ing.

Rich­bor­ough Estates, which was orig­i­nally de­nied plan­ning per­mis­sion by the coun­cil for the de­vel­op­ment in Wil­las­ton near Crewe.

But the de­vel­oper won an ap­peal be­cause the coun­cil could not show it has a five-year sup­ply of de­liv­er­able hous­ing land.

Cheshire East mounted a High Court chal­lenge and won, only for the Court of Ap­peal to quash it and rule in favour of the de­vel­oper.

Now the coun­cil is spear­head­ing a land­mark ‘leave to ap­peal’ to the Supreme Court.

The de­ci­sion could have im­pli­ca­tions for plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions across the bor­ough and the rest of the country.

Coun­cil­lor Ains­ley Arnold, cabi­net mem­ber for hous­ing and plan­ning, said the chal­lenge aims to preserve the sig­nif­i­cance of Lo­cal Plans and Neigh­bour­hood Plans in de­ter- min­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for de­vel­op­ment even where a coun­cil can­not show it has the re­quired fiveyears’ de­liv­er­able hous­ing land sup­ply. He said: “We have thought about this long and hard and it is not some­thing we do lightly. How­ever, this court de­ci­sion is too im­por­tant to be al­lowed to go un­chal­lenged.

“It is clear to us it would have deeply detri­men­tal im­pli­ca­tions for coun­cils across the country and their pow­ers to pro­tect lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties from un­planned and un­sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.

“We are a Coun­cil that puts its res­i­dents first and be­lieve this ac­tion is nec­es­sary to pro­tect lo­cal peo­ple, their com­mu­ni­ties and our beau­ti­ful Cheshire East country- side.”

The fo­cus of the chal­lenge is the court’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion of para­graph 49 of the govern­ment’s Na­tional Plan­ning Pol­icy Frame­work (NPPF) which says that “rel­e­vant poli­cies for the sup­ply of hous­ing should not be con­sid­ered up-to-date if the lo­cal plan­ning au­thor­ity can­not demon­strate a five-year sup­ply of de­liv­er­able hous­ing sites”.

The coun­cil’s le­gal chal­lenge is a joint ac­tion with Suf­folk Coastal District Coun­cil, which was also af­fected by the same High Court rul­ing re­gard­ing the weight, scope and force at­tached to coun­cil plan­ning poli­cies.

If granted leave to ap­peal it is likely be heard by the Supreme Court in Lon­don this sum­mer.

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