Court confirms a realistic approach to housing delivery as opposed to an aspiration

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Court confirms a realistic approach to housing delivery as opposed to an aspiration

Published 18 diciembre 2018

The High Court has found that it is for a local planning authority to demonstrate the five-year supply of deliverable housing needed to avoid triggering the presumption in favour of sustainable development set out in paragraph 11 of the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

In Cheshire East Council v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government, Graham Kirkham and Angela Mary Kirkham [2018] EWHC 2906 (Admin), the High Court found that:

  • Paragraph 49 (of the 2012 NPPF) was aimed at significantly boosting housing supply to tackle the national problem of the unmet demand for housing. In this regard, local planning authorities were required to demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites and that the test for deliverability was whether there was a realistic prospect of delivering the housing within five years;
  • It is reasonable to assume that planning inspectors have a broad understanding of national planning policy and that the precautionary approach taken by the planning inspector in this particular case of whether a local authority had demonstrated a realistic prospect of a five-year supply of housing was appropriate;
  • In reading the planning inspector's decision letter as a whole, he had clearly identified evidence that certain housing schemes would not be implemented within five years and that the local planning authority's submissions that, in any event, weak or inadequate evidence is sufficient to prove deliverability for sites with planning permission is contrary to policy which is seeking to increase housing supply nationally.

All local planning authorities must be able to demonstrate that they have a five-year rolling supply of housing land in their area in order to help meet local and national need. However, the message to local planning authorities is clear – local planning authorities are required to demonstrate a realistic prospect of delivery housing in their areas within five years. Crucially, the onus is not on developers to demonstrate that local planning authorities do not have a five year housing supply.

The full judgement can be found here.

Authors

Christopher Stanwell

Christopher Stanwell

London - Walbrook

+44 (0)20 7894 6269

Key Contacts

Christopher Stanwell

Christopher Stanwell

London - Walbrook

+44 (0)20 7894 6269

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