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Councils secure permission to appeal to Supreme Court over housing supply policies

Words: Laura Edgar
Green belt

Cheshire East Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council have been granted permission to challenge a Court of Appeal decision that could see developers gain more scope to develop green belt land in the Supreme Court.

The decision re-opens the question surrounding what can be considered as “relevant policies for the supply of housing”.

In March, Justices Jackson, Vos and Linblom said their interpretation of paragraph 49 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) recognised that the “concept [of relevant policies] extends to plan policies whose effect is to influence the supply of housing land by restricting the locations where new housing may be developed – including, for example, polices for the green belt” and other policies that seek to protect the local environment.

They went on: “It reflects the reality that policies may serve to form the supply of housing land either by creating it or constraining it – that policies of both kinds make the supply what it is.”

In Suffolk, the case related to a settlement boundary for which, the council argued, NPPF paragraph 49 did not apply. In the Cheshire case the appeal related to an application for 146 homes on a 16-acre ‘green gap’ site near Nantwich, which the council is seeking to upgrade to green belt.

Cornerstone Barristers, acting for Suffolk Coastal Council, said the grant of permission by the Supreme Court leaves the issues open to reconsideration in full. Additionally, this will be the first time the Supreme Court has considered the NPPF.

The two cases to be considered are Suffolk Coastal DC v Hopkins Homes and Richborough Estates Partnership LLP v Cheshire East Borough Council.

More information can be found on Cornerstone Barristers’ website.

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