Killian Garvey, acting for Shropshire Council, was successful in defending the grant of planning permission in the first reported judgment of 2021.
In 2019, Shropshire Council granted planning permission for specialist housing for persons over 55 years of age. The development included less open space than typically anticipated by Shropshire Council’s development plan. The Claimant argued that the justification for this was that the development was for older people and that older people do not require as much open space. The Claimant argued that this amounted to direct discrimination on the grounds of age and that it breached the public sector equality duty.
Whilst the judicial review for this claim was proceeding, the Council granted an identical permission as the first permission, this time with a different officer report which explained their reasoning more fully.
The Claimant amended their claim to include an additional 3 grounds of challenge.
The Court ultimately concluded that none of the grounds were made out. The judgment is 209 paragraphs and thus deals with a number of issues, including:
- The public sector equality duty and direct/indirect discrimination in planning decisions (paragraphs 180 – 202 of the judgment)
- Inconsistency in planning decisions (paragraphs 151 – 165 of the judgment)
- Making conclusions in the alternative within officer reports (paragraphs 114 – 131 of the judgment)
A copy of the judgment can be found here.