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Legal briefs: Judge overturns government approval of Norfolk offshore wind farm; Manston Airport consent order grounded

Words: Roger Milne
Scales of Justice / iStock: 155393832

A round-up of legal news: 13 February-19 February, 2021

Judge overturns government approval of Norfolk offshore wind farm

A High Court judge has overturned the energy secretary’s decision to grant a development consent order (DCO) to construct and operate an offshore wind farm off the coast of Norfolk.

The Planner 

Manston Airport consent order grounded

The development consent order permitting Manston Airport in Kent to become an air freight hub has this week been formally quashed by the Planning Court. UK transport secretary Grant Shapps had gone against the advice of the planning inspector who considered the proposals and the minister’s decision was the subject of a JR challenge by a resident. Manston Airport was closed in May 2015 and since then there have been a series of disputes over whether it should reopen for aviation or be used as a science park.

Local Government Lawyer

Jenrick urged to intervene over Kent local plan

The leader of Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council has written to Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, urging him to intervene after inspectors indicated that they considered it a “very strong likelihood” that they will fail its local plan. Councillor Nicolas Heslop warned Jenrick that in the absence of intervention, “the only other potential recourse open to [the council] would be a legal challenge by judicial review”.  The issue posing a problem for the development plan is whether the council had met the duty to cooperate with neighbouring Sevenoaks District Council over unmet housing need.

Local Government Lawyer

Walthamstow landlord fined £300k over HMO and development illegalities

Waltham Forest Council has obtained a £300,000 confiscation order against a Walthamstow landlord who failed to comply with planning enforcement notices dating back to 2013 over the creation of a house in multiple occupation (HMO) and the construction of an outbuilding that was then used as an unauthorised residential property.

Local Government Lawyer

Maidstone AONB injunction secured

Maidstone Borough Council has secured an interim High Court injunction to prevent further serious harm to a site located within an Area of Outstanding National Beauty which is designated as ancient woodland and covered by a tree preservation order (TPO). The site had been used for residential purposes as well as the stationing of caravans, storage of motor parts and waste disposal.

Local Government Lawyer

Ancient woodland campaigners to challenge social housing scheme

A local campaign group has raised nearly £12,300 to take the London Borough of Lewisham to judicial review over a planned development at Sydenham. The group said a proposed social housing development would damage the Great North Wood, a tract of ancient woodland on the highest point of South London.

Local Government Lawyer

Thame challenge over mixed-use scheme at business park fails

Thame Town Council has lost its High Court challenge over proposals for a mixed-use scheme including offices, new homes, and a 68-bed care home on land at Kingsmead Business Park, Thame, which was originally refused by South Oxfordshire District Council but subsequently allowed on appeal.

Local Government Lawyer