Planning Law Case Analysis: Misconstruing of NPPF irrelevant to decision allowing green belt development

Planning Law Case Analysis: Misconstruing of NPPF irrelevant to decision allowing green belt development

Case Analysis:South Gloucestershire Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2016] EWCA Civ 74, [2016] All ER (D) 63 (Feb)Why did the Court of Appeal uphold an inspector's decision to grant planning permission for development in the green belt? The 'extraordinary strength of the considerations that had weighed in favour of planning permission', such as the applicant’s personal circumstances, meant that it was inconceivable that the inspector's decision might have been different if the housing land supply issue had been dealt with correctly.
The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the Secretary of State's appeal against the quashing of a decision of the planning inspector in which he had permitted one mobile home to be sited on the green belt in what the inspector had described as truly exceptional circumstances. Despite the errors in the inspector's approach, it was inconceivable that he would have reached a different conclusion to the one he had and the judge had erred in the exercise of his discretion. The inspector's decision would be restored.
What is the national policy position on development in the greenbelt?

National policies relating to green belts in England are exhibited in the National Planning Policy Framework(NPPF), which sets out a general presumption against inappropriate development unless very special circumstances can be demonstrated to show that the benefits of the development will outweigh the harm caused to the green belt. The NPPF sets out what would constitute appropriate development in the green belt. For more information see Practice Note: Development in the green belt.

What are the NPPF requirements in relation to housing supply in lo

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About the author:

Jen is a solicitor specialising in planning law. She has experience in relation to a range of planning topics, including environmental impact assessment, section 106 agreements, highways orders, compulsory purchase, freedom of information issues, inquiries, judicial review, the Localism Act 2011, the National Planning Policy Framework and major infrastructure projects. After qualifying at Ashurst, Jen worked at Bevan Brittan and subsequently at CMS Cameron McKenna as an associate in the planning team. She worked as an external author for LexisPSL before joining the team in November 2010. She has written for a variety of legal publications, including the New Law Journal, Utilities Week, Planning Resource and The Lawyer. Jen regularly appears on Talking Law videocasts providing legal updates on planning law.