Alan Evans successfully defends Oldham Council against judicial review claim.
In Hewitt v Oldham Council  EWHC 3405 (Admin) a judicial review was brought by a former vice-chairman of the Council’s own planning committee (acting on behalf of a local action group) seeking to quash a grant of outline planning permission by the Council for up to 265 houses on a site in the borough which consisted in part of protected open land. The decision followed a resubmitted application after the planning committee had previously refused permission for an identical proposal, was set against a backdrop of officers having revised their opinion on the question of whether the site lay within a particular landscape character area and was taken at a meeting accepted by the Council itself (in an investigation report into its handling) to have been “chaotic”. The proceedings came as little surprise to the Council in the circumstances but were no less challenging to defend on that account. Several grounds of claim were deployed including misdirection in respect of the weighting of valued landscapes, an incorrect approach to the “tilted balance”, inconsistency in decision-making and a failure to take account of relevant local policy.
Acting for the Council in the Planning Court, Alan was nevertheless able to secure the dismissal of the claim on all grounds. The Court’s decision makes enlightening reading across all the issues that had to be considered. The judgment of Julian Knowles J. demonstrates the reach of what the courts will consider to be planning judgments rather than legal errors, contains interesting observations on the weight to be attached to policies deemed out-of-date by virtue of the lack of a five year housing land supply, provides a good example of how far benevolent reading of officers’ reports may extend and shows that the relationship between outline applications and reserved matters submissions may impact on the duty to have regard to material considerations.
A full copy of the judgment may be found here.
36 Young Street, Manchester, M3 3FT
DX: 718188 MCH 3
Direct Dial: 0161 832 9082
5 Park Square, Leeds, LS1 2NE
DX: 713113 LEEDS PARK SQ
Direct Dial: 0113 242 1123
Embassy House, 60 Church Street,
Birmingham, B3 2DJ
DX: 13023 BIRMINGHAM
Direct Dial: 0121 200 3570
In support of #InternationalWomensDay 2023, we are delighted to sponsor the @cbituk She's Shining Fundraising Lunch… https://t.co/6XAo0UqnvM Kings Chambers 2 days ago..
WEBINAR - 4.30pm 22nd February 2023
Employment Law Series: Update on Government Consultation on Statutory Code of… https://t.co/kThYMlwSn3 Kings Chambers 6 days, 21 hours ago..
We are pleased to announce that Andrew Hogan and Gordon Exall (@CivilLitTweet) will be speaking at the… https://t.co/o2p7nbSHJl Kings Chambers 2 weeks, 5 days ago..
Our Women In Costs: Development Brunch and Seminar is now underway!
It is fantastic to see so many women from the… https://t.co/wrXH3qSXcG Kings Chambers 2 weeks, 5 days ago..
Wilson Horne successful in High Court claim in relation to a conditional sale agreement and the refusal to validate… https://t.co/WLN8S1GjIk Kings Chambers 2 weeks, 6 days ago..
© Copyright 2023 Kings Chambers. All rights reserved.