High Court ruling on Neighbourhood Plans

The High Court has made a judgement that the Written Ministerial Statement on Neighbourhood Plans and the 3 year housing land supply figure should stand.

The Written Ministerial Statement was issued by the then Minister of Housing, Gavin Barwell, at the end of 2016. Dismissing the challenge at the High Court, Mr Justice Dove said he could detect no legal flaw in the Written Ministerial Statement and ruled that the housebuilders' arguments were unsustainable.

The Written Ministerial Statement has set out the circumstances in which the policies contained in a Neighbourhood Plan would not be considered out of date if the District Council did not have a five year housing land supply. It set out when a three year housing land supply would be appropriate to use instead and the circumstances which would apply.

As Government Neighbourhood Planning Champion, John said: "I am delighted with this judgement. It gives a great boost to Neighbourhood Plans. The fact is that Neighbourhood Plans are producing more houses than shown in their District Council Local Plans and are therefore helping to boost housing. I hope this now provides a suitably firm basis for the position regarding Neighbourhood Plans to be secure and I hope that many more communities will seek to take them up."

The case was Richborough Estates Limited & Ors v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. Case Number: CO/452/2017