A Cheshire council has won a landmark Supreme Court ruling that will strengthen councils’ hand when looking to prevent speculative development on green fields.
Cheshire East Council, along with Suffolk Coastal Council, argued guidance in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was being applied incorrectly. The case was brought after Richborough Estates had an application for 170 homes on ‘green gap’ land between Nantwich and Crewe refused by Cheshire East Council.
The developers appealed the decision, arguing that in some circumstances relevant policies for the supply of housing should be treated as ‘out of date.’ Their argument claimed this included green gap land protection.
While the judges upheld the appeal, they ruled that their argument was not valid.
The court judgement stated: “No one would naturally describe a recently approved green belt policy in a local plan as ‘out of date’, merely because the housing policies in another part of the plan fail to meet the NPPF objectives.”
Cheshire East Council said the judgement strengthened the hand of all local authorities seeking to protect green gap, green belt and other special sites.
“This is a landmark ruling, achieved by Cheshire East, which will benefit planning authorities and town planners up and down the country,” said council leader Rachel Bailey.