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High Court rejects green wedge appeal

Developers have lost an appeal in the High Court for a major housebuilding scheme on Stephenson Green in north west Leicestershire.

Mrs Justice Lang dismissed an appeal by William David and Jelson Homes to build on farmland known locally as the Whitwick Green Wedge, which separates Whitwick from Coalville.
The developers had claimed the inspector and the Secretary of State had misinterpreted and misapplied the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and failed to apply its presumption in favour of sustainable development. The claimants also allegedly failed to find that a policy to protect the green wedge from development was inconsistent with the NPPF and out of date.
The judge said that the inspector was entitled to conclude that the council’s proposed “area of separation” policy was intended to maintain the physical separation of settlements.
She concluded the scheme was not sustainable development because of its adverse effect on the Coalville air quality management area and the loss of 25 hectares of most versatile land.
She also ruled that the green wedge policy was neither irrelevant nor outdated.