In an important judgment handed down on 14th March 2018 in the case of Kebbell Developments Ltd v Leeds City Council  EWCA Civ 450 the Court of Appeal rejected a developer challenge to the decision of Leeds City Council to put the Linton Neighbourhood Plan to a referendum. Alan Evans successfully represented Leeds City Council in the case. The challenge was brought on the basis that the Council had exceeded its powers by modifying the neighbourhood plan in a way which departed from the examiner’s recommendations, had failed to give sufficient reasons for its modifications and had not undertaken consultation on its course of action. None of the grounds of challenge was accepted. The decision is required reading for all those with an interest in the scope of the powers of a local planning authority to make modifications to a neighbourhood plan following its independent examination. It also provides a helpful illustration of the standard of reasoning which must be met by local planning authorities in their decision statements on neighbourhood plans as well as containing an instructive analysis of consultation duties. A copy of the judgment is available here.
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