In last month’s blog we explained the radical planning reform set out by the government, in particular Permitted Development Rights (PDR). These changes which came into force at the beginning of the month are already the subject of a High Court Challenge. A non-governmental campaign organisation seeks to challenge the legislation.
Why are they challenging the decision?
The action group which is challenging the process used to bring about the changes to the Use Classes Order and PDR:
- First, that the Secretary of State unlawfully failed to carry out an environmental assessment of the statutory instruments in accordance with his obligations.
- Second, that the Secretary of State failed to have due regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty; and
- Third, that the Secretary of State failed to consider the weight of evidence against these “radical” reforms, including consultation responses and the advice of his own experts.
If the challenge is successful, the legislation will be cancelled and the Government will have to re-start the process from scratch.
What Happens Now?
Although there was an urgent application issued to suspend the decision until the case is settled, this was withdrawn on 2nd September. Therefore, the announced changes will remain in force for now. However, the Planning Liaison Judge, Sir David Holgate, has ordered the matter to be heard at the High Court. As such, a rolled-up hearing is listed for a day and a half, between 8th – 15th October 2020. If in this hearing the permission is granted to apply for a judicial review, the Court will progress immediately to decide the substantive claim.
What does this mean to you?
If you are planning a project that could be affected by the new Permitted Development Rights or the changes to the Use Classes Order, it is imperative you seek expert guidance. In such uncertain times a misguided approach could become an expensive mistake. Here at Stewart Management and Planning Solutions we are committed to offering offer support and impartial advice throughout your project. Furthermore, with an extensive knowledge of all aspects of planning, we provide simple yet effective explanations of planning issues. In addition, to support our commitment to you, we offer a free initial consultation on any project.