- Considering requirements to assess alternatives in the SEA process (Flaxby Park Ltd v Harrogate Borough Council)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Planning analysis: The court dismissed a challenge to an inspector’s decision to uphold the defendant local planning authority’s (LPA’s) local plan, following further sustainability assessment undertaken during the examination process, which then identified a new settlement within a ‘broad location for growth’, instead of the location promoted by the claimant. The claimant’s unsuccessful case primarily argued that Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) had failed to properly consider or assess the alternative settlement in breach of the Strategic Environment Assessment Directive. While the court agreed that HBC’s failure to properly consider elements of the strategic environmental assessment (SEA) by full council meant the SEA, and therefore the local plan adoption, was defective, it held that it could be cured by remitting the local plan. The case serves as reminder to practitioners to the requirements placed upon LPAs in considering alternatives in the SEA process when adopting a local plan. Written by Emily Knowles, associate, at Sharpe Pritchard LLP.
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