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14/07/2020

Council wins legal challenge against Planning Inspectorate

Words: Laura Edgar
Legal challenge / iStock-914921790

A decision by the Planning Inspectorate to grant outline permission on appeal for nine dwellings on Station Road in Fordham has been quashed by the High Court.

East Cambridgeshire District Council refused the application due to its location outside the development envelope. The applicant appealed. 

The council said that should the decision go unchallenged, it would "seriously" undermine the Fordham Neighbourhood Plan and all neighbourhood plans in the district. Fordham's plans outline how and where development can take place. Also, the council was sure that there had been a miscalculation of its housing land supply by the inspector

Anna Bailey, leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: "The decision made by the Planning Inspectorate seriously undermined the hard work of local people in Fordham to develop their neighbourhood plan which they undertook in order to control how and where development takes place. 

“Speaking to the local member, councillor Julia Huffer, I know that for Fordham, it was devastating to have their neighbourhood plan effectively rendered useless by the decision of the inspector so soon after it was adopted. 

“Left unchallenged, it would also have had the knock-on effect of undermining all neighbourhood plans in the district, rendering them ineffective at controlling where development takes place. We knew the inspectorate had got it wrong and we needed to make a stand. We will continue to support all communities across our district that wish to develop their own neighbourhood plan.”

The council has been awarded all costs relating to the case, while a different inspector will consider the appeal.

Image credit | iStock

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